There are few feelings as satisfying as checking your bank balance at the end of the month and discovering that you’ve managed to keep some extra money for yourself. No matter how hard many of us attempt to manage our money, it’s all too easy for expenses to get on top of you – particularly when unexpected issues arrive.
Things like reducing your energy usage and cutting down the amount you spend on luxury items can help you to get more control over your finances. However, it’s worth remembering that there are plenty of additional ways to save money without feeling like you’re missing out on some of the best parts of life. Here are some tips to get you started.
First, it’s time to come to terms with the fact that if you’re buying food, essentials, or everyday items, the chances are that the own-brand version will be just as good as it’s fancier counterpart. When you pay for a brand with a huge marketing strategy, you’re not necessarily paying for a better product or nicer ingredients. Usually, you’re just paying for that marketing.
If you’re committed to certain brands and you can’t imagine life without them, investigate swapping at least one item from your list for an own-brand version each week. If you think the change is too severe, you can always switch back, but most of the time you won’t bother.
Yes, we all do it, even those of us who like to think we’re environmentally friendly. Shockingly, around three quarters of the food and other items that we throw away still has use to it. If you make a conscious effort to only buy things that you need and then use those items, then you’ll be less likely to waste important resources, and you’ll save more too.
A good way to reduce your chance of wasting is to learn the difference between use before and best by dates. A best by date doesn’t necessarily mean you can no longer use an item. It’s also worth checking how much of certain products you have left and making a list before you shopping.
There’s an app for everything these days. Whether you need an app that will help you to control your online banking on the go, or you want something that’s going to give you instant discount codes whenever you try to buy something online, it’s worth being tech savvy. Search for the kind of handy apps that might be able to assist with your finances online.
Options might include budget apps that help you to track your spend and see where your problem areas are. You can also find apps that help with initial investment strategies, by showing you how much cash you can afford to put into new opportunities each month.
The online world is fantastic for a lot of reasons, including helping you to save cash on your purchases. However, it can also be an excellent source of information that will make you more efficient and independent. When you know how to do things like fixing a pipe in your bathroom or retiling your kitchen on your own, then you don’t have to spend a fortune on experts to come and do it for you.
You never know, the things you learn by looking to expand your skills online could very easily introduce you to new hobbies that you fall in love with. If you have friends and loved ones that struggle with these tasks too, maybe you could offer your services in exchange for a small fee to make some extra cash too.
Finally, it’s easy to buy things in an instant these days. All you need is an account on your favourite website and a debit or credit card, and you can buy items in a click. Unfortunately, this means that we often spend money that we don’t really have on things that we don’t need more often than we used to. If you’re browsing online and you find something that you think you want, challenge yourself to make the decision slowly.
For instance, you could start by telling yourself that you need to wait 24 hours before making any purchase and waiting 7 days before you make a large investment. This will push you to think things through and decide what you really want before you spend your hard-earned cash.