Simple steps to cut what you spend that could clear your debts or seriously boost your savings |
1. Make a shopping list
Making a shopping list will help stop you getting drawn in with the power of supermarkets. They spend millions on tricks to make you purchase stuff that you really don’t want or need, take it home keep it in the cupboard and then end up throwing it away a few weeks later. You may as well throw your cash in the bin. On average we throw out nearly £500 worth of food every year! So go on the next time you go to the supermarket make a shopping list and stick with it. Dig out the cookery books, plan a few meals and only purchase what you need.
Saving: £22 a week = £1,144 a year!
2. Think about own-brand goods
Not all own-brand supermarket products today are awful trust me they are NOT! They taste much like branded products you can buy and are sometimes nicer. I know that you tend to get more air in your packet of crisps, as they tend to reduce the size of their products you buy, but isn’t every brand nowadays? More and more people are buying own-brand products so there is no need to run around the shop with a mask on your face so that no one sees you that you know as its just not cool. It’s not cool to through your money away.
3. Get rid of your debt.
Simply calculating how much you spend each month on your debts will show you that reducing and consolidating this amount will free up cash quickly. Once you have surplus each month then this can easily be put into savings and investments so that you can make your money work for you. Plus, the sooner you pay off debt, the less interest you'll pay! Even cut up your credit cards to stop you spending anymore cash!
4. Set savings goals
Instead of seeing that shiny new car, or cool new shoes and putting them straight on the credit card or getting a loan from the bank, think about setting a savings goal. By doing this you will be more inclined to save and will also save yourself money in the long run. You will actually be able to afford what you want without the worry of having to pay it back after you have the item. It just makes you appreciate what you have more! Now I know cars can be pricey but even saving up a larger deposit can really have an impact on the amount you borrow and the interest rate involved.
5. Create your own income and expenditure list
The best thing you can do is know where each and every penny pound you have is going every month. This will help you recognise areas where you can save money and cut back. It will also let you see how much money you ACTUALLY have left after your bills for leisure activities. This is one of the first things that you would be asked to complete if you were going to a debt advice organisation as it is an excellent tool. Some people tend to leave it to that stage before they really get a handle of their monthly income and outgoings and by that point they have already gotten themselves into a financial mess which can cause a lot of stress and anxiety. So don’t let yourself get to that stage ACT NOW! List your own income and outgoings and work out today where you can cut back and give yourself an allowance of whatever you are left with AFTER you have paid your bills of what you can spend on leisure activities.
TIP: if you don’t use all of your allowance that week or month then put it into top up your savings and watch your savings grow without even really realising it.
6. Savings are also a priority
Once you have completed your income and expenditure and you have worked out where you can cut back on your outgoings. You have all of your debts under control and they getting paid off manageably. Then work out before you pay yourself an allowance how much savings you can put away at the start of the month, this way your allowance will be calculated excluding this amount and you won’t feel any difference. It will ensure that you save and don’t get to the end of the month, wonder where your money has gone and have no money left over to save. Set up a manageable amount each month say 10% of your salary (if affordable) and set up an automatic transfer from your account that your salary is paid into, to a savings account as soon as your salary is paid in on a recurring monthly basis.
7. Shop around for insurance
Most people tend to buy insurance and then let it automatically renew itself each year without actually checking out if they are getting the best deal. STOP you must, before your renewal date, shop around for the best deal and you could save a small fortune each year! I feel annoyed when I hear people say I just let my insurance continue year on year without getting another quote elsewhere, especially now that the information is easily obtained through great comparison websites in a matter of minutes. So the next time your household, car or even mobile phone insurance comes up for renewal make sure you do your homework first and if your current provider is unable to commit to another better deal that you found then ask your current provider not to renew your policy and take the better deal elsewhere. Quite often your current provider won’t want to loose your business and will work hard to try and match the better deal that you have been quoted.
8. Sell your unwanted items on ebay
We all buy stuff throughout our lives that end up flung in the back of the cupboard and we have no intention of taking them back out until they have gathered 10 years of dust and cobwebs. Instead of having your unwanted items doing absolutely nothing for you, apart from annoy you, why not make some cash from it. Ebay is a great marketplace to sell your unwanted gadgets, clothes etc. It is so easy to set up an account with them it only takes a few minutes and you can start selling straight away. There will always be someone that wants your unwanted tat! Go on give it a try!
Income: depends on what you have in your cupboard
9. Save money on your holidays
Book your own holiday online and save. When you go into a high street travel agent they tend to sell holidays at a premium of what you could find online if you just took the time to browse. Yes it is so much more convenient and easier to go into an travel agency and get someone else to do all the hard work for you in a few minutes, but if you are looking to save money and get a good deal then this is not the method for you! There are so many great sites available for you to use such as, jet2holidays, low cost holidays, expedia etc Comparison sites are also a great place to go to compare different companies against one another to ensure you are getting the best deal for less. There are also great sites like Groupon and KGB deals where you can get daily deals on fantastic destinations. Give them a try the next time you are thinking about booking a holiday. Another tip would be to book early as well as travel companies tend to sell of some of there packages cheaper months in advance and then when it comes to nearer the time, there are deals to be found but you tend to see the prices shoot up.
Saving: can be £100’s
10. Avoid expensive nights and days out
Attractions such as some museums are free, walking, sightseeing on foot and picnics are also free. You can also get fantastic deals every day on sites like Groupon, KGB deals and it is on. You do have to pre book the activity and sometimes there is a restriction as to how soon after you purchase the deal voucher you can book, but as long as you are organized and have a look at the sites a week or so before you want to go out for dinner or spend the day at the zoo etc.
Saving: depends on deal
11.Downgrade your car
Yes I know this one doesn’t sound very appealing but if you have a muncher on the petrol and tax every year then you are better to get rid of it. You can sell your car on auction sites such as auto trader fairly really inexpensively or even gumtree for free. By downgrading you will save money on petrol, tax and insurance and you could also make a profit from buying a cheaper car than that of the sales proceeds from your old vehicle, RESULT!
Saving: can be £1000’s
12. Walk or Cycle to work
If possible you could walk or cycle to work, save money and get fit and healthy at the same time.
13. Do I need this?
You are bored; you head to the shops and see a nice dress . STOP and ask yourself do I REALLY need this dress. More often than not the answer will be NO! Walk away and stay away.
14. Cancel your Gym Membership
Gym memberships can be expensive, on average £50 per month, which equates to £600 per year! If you use the gym 3-4 times a week then great but if you find yourself paying a membership and only going occasionally or not at all then cancel it! You are burning your money otherwise.
15. Use your ISA allowance
You can save up to £5,760 a year in a tax-free savings in an account called an ISA. It means that you don’t pay any tax on the interest that you accrue, which is great.
16. Make lunch and save
You can spend around £6 per day on lunch and coffees. That’s ok its only £6 but if you add that up over the year that calculates out to a whopping £2190! That could pay for your holiday each year! So although making your lunch at home isn’t free it is miles cheaper than the premium prices you will pay at the shops. Plus many people spend over £6 per day, which is insane.
17. Claim benefits and tax credits
Many people go through life and don’t know if they are entitled to benefits such as, child benefit, working tax credits, child tax credits. It is worth finding out if you are entitled it could really support you and your family at a time of need. Just go into your local Citizens Advice Bureau.
Income: depends on circumstances and if eligible
18. Don’t get fed up and don’t give up!
This may seem like a lot of information to take on and a lot of work but if you break it down into sizeable chunks you could achieve great results. If you follow these steps it could help you be on your journey to a better life financially.
Thanks from the Author…
Thanks for taking the time to read my article, I hope that by reading this it has opened your mind to some ideas on how to make and save money.
I have gained my financial experience through working in finance for a few years now, mostly within a collections environment. Within this environment I spoke to a lot of customers on a daily basis that were in a poor financial state, down to money miss management, loosing their job, family circumstances and a whole load of other experiences. Most of the time we tend to wait to seek help when it is too late, we have already gotten ourselves into a mess and are completely stressed out about it. The reason I created this article and will continue to expand my blog, articles and videos is so that I can try and you all to start thinking about ways to prevent you getting to a stage where you just cant cope any more. I hope this article is a start to that.
Please note that I am in no way qualified to provide financial advice. The content within this article is just information that I found that has helped me; therefore it won’t work for everyone. If you need financial advice then please see a professional!
If you would like more tips on ‘how to make money’ and ‘how to save money’ then please visit my blog page www.missmoneybagsblog.co or my you tube channel https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCDAhpa684KNEJDlTx30AVEQ
Take care and GOOD LUCK!
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