Money is a hot topic of conversation for many these days. Especially with the recent global pandemic and threat to jobs and earnings. It goes without saying that we could all do with a little more of it for one reason or another, and while it isn’t supposed to make you happy, it can make life a little easier than scraping by from one day to the next.
But, many people find themselves on a fixed wage, and not entirely sure how they can improve their financial situation.
The truth is, that while you can do your best to save money each month. While you can try your hardest to ensure that you only spend on the things that you need, you can still find yourself struggling. It doesn’t have to be this way. There are things that you can do to help you become more financially stable, even in this current situation.
With that in mind here are some of the things to think about.
When was the last time you checked what leaves your account each month?
It isn’t a trick question, but it certainly should be something that you are asking yourself if you are set on making changes to your current financial position.
When was the last time you looked closely at your bank statement as knew exactly was leaving and coming in each month?
The chances are not for some time. So take the time right now to grab your last few statements, use a highlighter and look at what leaves your account each month. Just by doing this exercise, you may identify regular debits that are no longer necessary.
How often do you attend that gym?
Do you need that smartphone application subscription you are paying for? Canceling these payments and becoming more aware of what should be leaving your account could help you create savings right from the get-go.
Are you really savvy when it comes to the food shop?
There is one thing that you pay out for each week that could be controlled better.
Do you know what it is? The amount you spend on food. Surprisingly this could be a big expense for some people. You might find that you do a weekly shop but don’t always eat the food you buy, letting it spoil and go to waste. This is wasted money.
It could be that you buy what you don’t necessarily need that week.
This is wasted money. Instead, try and focus on writing a list and if necessary plan what you will eat for the week ahead. It can help reduce overbuying and waste. You might also want to combine this savings tactic with other things like coupons or discount codes, which can significantly reduce what you spend.
It might also be worth trying a meal plan to make some savings. Lastly, choosing where you shop can also make a big difference. Cheaper alternatives are actually doing extremely well and could slash a fair chunk off your normal weekly spend. You may have thought you were savvy with shopping, but are you really?
Do you just pay the minimum or could you be doing more?
Debt can be a big problem for many.
You get that initial benefit of a credit card, an overdraft or a loan, but then repayments need to be made and you can start to feel like it will be a never ending task.
However, if you place some focus on debt and trying to not only reduce what you pay out but also making it a priority to pay it off, you will find that it gets sorted sooner rather than later. If you have multiple debts why not consider combining them into one.
A loan or credit card couldn’t help you to focus on one amount paying one thing off, and also help you to create a payment plan in order to do it. It might be a good idea to check your credit history first to ensure this is a viable option.
If these options are not possible right now, switch your focus to the debt that is costing you the most in interest, and try to pay more off to reduce it quicker.
Plan ahead so you are never caught short
One thing that you should always do is to try and plan in advance as much as you can when it comes to your finances. This means things such as birthdays and Christmas.
If you have a diary, keep track of things that are coming up and then you know you need to budget for them each month. You could also have some savings accounts that are dedicated to spending such as birthdays and Christmas. It can help you to not have to use your disposable income as you may already be used to a set amount leaving your account for savings each month.
This can also work for other things such as holidays or other big purchases like a car or paying for a wedding.
The more you save and allocate money, the less likely you will be caught short when it matters and to stop you needing to use credit.
Have you got the right cover in place?
While this post is all about asking and encouraging you to save and boost your income, we also need to ensure that we cover ourselves properly for every eventuality.
In the long term this will help us financially. We all pay out for insurances in the hope we never need them, but if we do need them, are you accurately covered?
It is time to probably review your insurances and make sure that what you are paying for will cover you.
You can check out life insurance plans from TrueCoverage to see if your insurance will cover you for mortgages etc. You could also look at your home and contents insurance. You might be surprised that coverage you pay for when it comes to your contents doesn’t cover the value of the things that you have in your home.
Which can cause problems when it comes to claiming. Why pay for something if it won’t pay out for you when you need it most? It is more about savvy spending when it comes to things like insurance.
Can you earn more in your job?
There may be an answer staring you in the face. Your current job.
Do you have the potential to earn bonuses, commissions from sales, or extra income in other ways? Many people get content with a certain amount each month, but if you have the chance to increase that, isn’t it worth putting in the extra effort to get it done?
Earning extra bonuses, commissions, or even over time can really boost your income and could be put towards things such as holidays or paying off debts quicker.
It is understandable that right now things may be hard with your current employer, but they may also be looking for people who are willing to put in the extra time to help the business thrive once more, so while you may think the opportunities might not be there, they could be and could be worth capitalizing on.
Especially if you have had some time out of work and had to stay at home recently.
Is there anything you could do outside of work to boost your income?
You may not have the chance to boost your income with your current job but that doesn’t mean that you can’t do it.
There are so many different things that you could do outside of work that could help add to the amount you put into your bank each month. You could look around your home, to begin with.
There are bound to be things you no longer want or need in your home that could be sold online on websites like eBay. This not only helps to declutter your home but also increase your earnings.
There are other things you could do online such as filling out online surveys, websites testing, or performing mystery shops. These things can all add up and can be done easily from home or in your spare time.
Changing providers for monthly bills could give you big savings
Finally, you may want to consider changing providers for things such as energy or insurance products.
Often sticking with the same provider doesn’t necessarily mean you are paying the best possible price. These companies tend to save their best deals for attracting new customers.
Switching helps you to get the same things but without paying any more than is needed. Some people are slightly put off by this. They think it will be hard to do or less cost-effective. But for things like energy, the companies tend to handle the switchover for you.
This means that you get the best possible deal without the worry of paperwork or missing out on supply.
You should also consider doing this for things like mobile phone providers as well as broadband etc. The more you switch the more you can save on your total outgoings and this can then be utilized in other areas.
Let’s hope that these tips help you to become more financially stable.