Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Seven Tips That Will Help You Save Money (And Spend It On What You Really Want)

It isn’t easy to save money when you’re a busy household. Everything seems like a necessity and it’s hard to manage all your outgoings and incomings – luckily, there are things you can do to help…
Start Budgeting

The number one thing to do to save money is to get organised. Luckily, this isn’t as hard as you might think it is. Chiefly, you need to compare your outgoings and incomings and see where there’s anything that you can cut out. It’s easiest to use a program like Microsoft Excel for this – that means you can tick off bills when you’ve paid them. Make sure that you put everything you buy in there, so you aren’t kidding yourself about how much you spend in Starbucks. It’s okay – the peppermint lattes will be the death of us all this time of year! If you’re having problems budgeting, why not take out the money you want to spend each week in cash so you don’t end up using your credit card and spending more than you intended?

Look For Deals

No matter what sort of shopping you’re doing, you can almost always find a deal to make your life easier. If you’re one of the smart ones, you’ll already have bought your Christmas cards and Christmas wrapping paper in the sales and put away ready for Christmas 2017! If you’re one of the genius ones, you’ll already have made a start on your Christmas shopping. Obviously, not everyone will be able to do this – but it’s absolutely worth looking out for deals that can help you and your family out, whether that’s with clothing, food, or entertainment. You can get some great deals in sales at certain times of the year, so note down when they are so you can get online first. It’s a much better idea to shop online than battle through the sales in person – you’re a whole lot less likely to get a black eye from someone who’s decided they want the same TV that you do. You could also look online for deals, such as websites like https://www.cards2cash.com/product-category/by-store/home-depot-gift-card/ and any coupons for the grocery stores you frequent most.
Clear Your Debt

If you have debts hanging over your head, then you’re probably finding it difficult to focus on any other financial situation that you might happen to be in. Debt can feel all-consuming – you see the interest rising and money going off your wages every month as you slowly pay it off, and it feels as though it’s hanging over your head. Unfortunately there’s no way to get through your debt without paying it off. If you’re having problems doing so, talk to your lender about a different payment scheme so you can figure out how to make regular payments that suit you. Just remember that it’s important to make sure you don’t ruin your credit rating by defaulting on payments.
Cut Down Your Energy Bills

This time of year, your energy bills have probably soared sky high as you keep the winter out by turning your heating on. Luckily, there are ways that you can decrease these bills. First of all make sure that your house is adequately insulated. Heat can easily escape from the roof or the walls. Go to your local hardware store and buy some wadding to add to your home. You could also wrap it around water pipes – if they freeze over and burst you could have a major plumbing problem that could turn out to be extremely expensive. You should also check your home for any draughts around the windows and doors – hold your hand up to see if you can feel any cold wind on it. Seal up any cracks with putty or get the windows put in again if they aren’t fitted properly. You could also invest in new energy efficient light bulbs. Not only will they use considerably less energy than regular ones, but they also have to be replaced much less often.
Sell Your Stuff Online

If your house is full of clutter that you barely use or look at, it’s time to move on and start selling it. Toys that your kids have grown out of are no longer necessary to keep – instead, put the ones that are still in good condition up on eBay. Remember to treat it like your own little business – spellcheck your listings, and make sure that you’re an extremely reliable seller. You should also make sure that you don’t end up buying anything!
Quit The Gym

If you’re a member of an expensive gym, it’s time to leave. This may lead you to start thinking about the famous scene in Friends where Chandler attempts to quit the gym and fails miserably (“I wanna quit the gym!”) but steel yourself and make sure that you don’t let yourself taken in by any offers that are intended to make you stay as a client! Instead, you can look into other exercise that will cost you considerably less. If you’ve never tried jogging before, then why not go for Couch To 5K? Just make sure you invest in some good running shoes first. You could also consider doing an aerobics DVD at home, or checking out a workout video on YouTube. Yoga With Adriene is the most subscribed to yoga channel. A lot of people are put off yoga because they think it might be too spiritual, but never fear – Adriene has a great sense of humour, even though she might make you laugh too hard to do downwards dog.
Make Food From Scratch

It’s important for the health of both your body and bank balance to make food from scratch. Not only are pre-made sauces full of extra sugar and additives, but they’re also extremely overpriced. Keep a supply of canned tomatoes in your larder and get friendly with the contents of your spice rack – they’re what you’ll need to get some incredible flavoursome food. Likewise, heat up dinners just aren’t great for you. Home cooked food will encourage your family to sit around the table together too.

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