We might be hearing news that the economy is finally picking up, but many people are still living hand to mouth.
And if you’re yet to see any improvement in your financial situation, it can be frustrating trying to make ends meet. But you don’t have to carry on in this fashion. There is a whole host of easy ways to make your money go further this month – without having to scrimp and save.
In fact, these small tips are so easy to introduce you won’t even realize you’re stretching your cash. Here are our top “money management for dummies” tips, to help you feel much more comfortable this month:
1. Go homemade
Do you stop off for a designer coffee on your way into work? Do you grab a “meal deal” on your lunch break? Do you often find yourself picking up a takeaway after working late?
We’re all guilty of doing these things once in a while but if you’re buying lunch every day, you’re throwing away over £50 a month. If you made your own lunch, you would spend considerably less than this.
A top tip is to make a little extra when you cook in the evenings, and take the leftovers into work for lunch. Not only can you enjoy something nutritious, you can save yourself a small fortune. And that coffee you crave? Grab a flask and make your own, or wait until you get to the office and make one then.
2. Collect loyalty points
More and more shops, supermarkets and petrol stations are running loyalty schemes. By signing up for a card – as long as it’s free, mind – and collecting points or stamps every time you visit, you can end up grabbing a free drink, sandwich, or even money off filling up the car.
Collect points from the places you visit the most, and these freebies will really add up. Yes, you do have to spend in the first place, but you will always need petrol for example. By taking advantage of these schemes, you’ll be able to stretch your money further this month and every one after.
3. Bargain hunt
They say “you can’t teach an old dog new tricks”, but if you want to make your money go further, you’re going to need to pick some up.
For example, you may always do your food shopping at a particular supermarket. But if you want to scour out the best deals and cut your expenses, you may find it more cost effective to shop elsewhere.
The same goes for your petrol costs too. You might find that some forecourts are always a little cheaper, so try visiting these and filling a full tank to make your cash last.
4. Switch up your accounts
Are you paying high interest rates on your credit cards? Is your overdraft costing you a small fortune each month?
You might be surprised to learn how much you’re actually spending on your debts. But it is possible to save cash here, too. Shop around for credit cards and bank accounts with lower interest rates, and the best deals to help you make the most of your money.
Again, there are comparison sites that will do all the hard work for you. Just be sure you can transfer your balance and that you won’t incur any costs by switching.
5. Avoid temptation
If you’re trying to manage your money better, you should make a conscious effort to avoid the temptation to spend.
While you might love the idea of shopping and lunch with your girlfriends, will you really be able to go home without buying anything? If you’re short on cash this month, it is much easier for you to say no on this occasion. You will thank yourself for it in the end.
Once you’ve got used to following these tips and making a conscious effort to make your money go further, you’ll be surprised at the additional cash you have to hand. Money management and easy finance for dummies is easy; when you know how!