They say that money cannot buy happiness, but it certainly pays the bills, right? Money can be a great source of stress for a lot of people, as it can feel like all we ever do is spend money on bills and essential items, as well as taxes and other expenses that we all begrudge! No matter your financial status, there are a number of different things that you can do to manage your finances more effectively. So, let’s take a look at some useful tips that can help you out:
Put together a budget – It does not matter how much money you do or do not have in the bank, you should put together a budget. A lot of people put this off because they assume that budgets are complex, but this is not the case. Your budget can be as simple as you want it to be. Most people simply use a spreadsheet and they enter their incomings and their outgoings so that they can see what money they have leftover. This will enable you to budget more efficiently and you will know how much money you are going to have left for savings and paying off your debts too.
Plan important and big purchases around sales holidays – Another tip to make your money go as far as possible is to plan your purchases around different sales holidays, with Black Friday and Cyber Monday being the most significant. From Black Friday mobile SIM deals to big savings on appliances and other large purchases, you really can make your money go far at the end of November every year! If you plan your purchases carefully so that you make them on sales holidays, you are going to save a huge amount of money, which you can use to put into your savings or to make other purchases that you otherwise would not be able to.
Use an app that tracks your spending – There are so many different financial apps that are available today, and a lot of them are free of charge. After all, it does not make sense to spend more money when you are trying to save money, does it? At the same time, though, make sure you do your research so that you can be sure that the app is safe and secure. You are going to be entering your personal financial information so you want to be certain that it is protected. So, do choose an app with care! Nevertheless, the benefits of using a spending app are clear, as they will help you to see how much you are spending, as well as what you are spending your money on. A lot of people do not realize how much money they are spending on certain things, and so they are often overspending by considerable amounts without even realizing it.
Put together a plan for paying off your debts – If you have any debt, which a lot of people do, you should put together a plan for paying your debts off. When you don’t have a plan, it can feel like the end is never in sight, and this can be very overwhelming. A plan will help you to see how you can pay your debts off, and by setting mini-goals for yourself every month, you will gain momentum and you will feel a sense of accomplishment every time you put money toward your debts every month. When it comes to paying off your debts, it makes sense to pay off your debt that is the most expensive every month. This does not mean your biggest debt necessarily; it is the debt that is costing you a lot of money. This happens when the interest rates are high, so look at the interest rates for your loans and credit cards so that you can figure out what debt to target first. Focus on paying off this debt, while still making your minimum repayments on your other debts, of course. Once you have paid off one debt, you can move to the next expensive on the list, and then keep repeating the process until you have paid everything off.
Always assess your bills and the amounts you are paying – In addition to the tips that have been mentioned so far, we also recommend that you keep looking at your bills and the amounts you are paying. You need to make sure that you are not paying too much money on your bills, whether your TV subscription or your energy bills. You may have managed to secure an exceptional deal when you first arranged a contract with the company in question. However, you do need to be mindful of the fact that once your contract is up, the company will increase the prices and they can often do this without notifying you. This is because the welcome offer tends to last for a period of 12 months, and after this, your prices will increase. This is why it is vital to make note of the dates for the end of your contract so that you can take action before any increases are incurred. You can call up your company to see if they will offer you a better price. If they don’t, you can use a comparison website to find out what supplier is going to be better for you. You may be surprised by just how much money this can end up saving you!
Get cash back on your purchases – There are a number of different sites that provide you with cashback on your purchases, such as TopCashBack and Quidco. These websites are free to sign-up to, giving you money back when you buy products from retailers that are featured on their site. You should never simply purchase a product for the sake of getting cash back. Nevertheless, this can be a good way to make your money go further, as it can be a nice little surprise when it starts to add up. After all, if you are going to be buying an item anyway, why not get some money back? There are also credit cards that will give you money back on purchases, yet you do need to be mindful when you go down this route. Make sure you pay off your credit card on time every month, otherwise you are going to end up spending more money on interest than you have made with cash back.
Make sure you are not overspending on tax – A lot of people are paying more tax than they are legally required to without realizing it. This is because they are not making the most of the different tax breaks that are in place. We must stress that we are referring to legal ways to reduce your tax bill here, not schemes that illegally exploit the tax system! For example, you may not be putting through as many expenditures as you are permitted to while you are filing your tax return. In addition to this, there are a lot of people that do not realize that there are advantages available depending on your company set-up. Are you married? There are tax breaks for married couples as well. It is certainly worth looking at this in further detail to make sure that you do not end up spending more money than you should on your tax bill.
Plan your trips to the grocery store – Are you the sort of person that will write a shopping list before going to the grocery store? If not, this is something that you should get into the habit of doing. Without a shopping list, you are going to be much more likely to end up buying things that you do not need. You may find that you are tempted by special offers and discounts, which lure you into buying items that you typically would not buy. This is why you need to make sure that you write yourself a shopping list prior to heading to the grocery store. Not only will this make your shopping trip less stressful, but it will ensure that you do not end up overspending on things that you do not need. Plus, without a shopping list, you are likely to find that you end up with some items missing, whereas you end up purchasing too much of other items, and this can mean that food goes to waste and ends up in the bin because you have not eaten it prior to the end date. Having a shopping list can truly make all of the difference!
So there you have it: some of the different things that you can do to manage your funds more effectively. If you follow the tips that have been mentioned above, you should be able to make some considerable savings and manage your finances more effectively. This can be easier said than done, but once you get into those good habits it will become second nature to you.