Bank of England interest rates have increased, mortgage rates have leapt and energy bills are skyrocketing. We’re all feeling the pinch right now but thankfully there are a few things you can adopt to help get a grip on your finances. From moving saving apps to limiting your spends, here’s what you can do…
Set Yourself Fun Limits
Ouch – this pretty much sounds like setting limits on the amount of fun you have. Fear not; really what we’re trying to say is don’t not have fun, but put a cap on the amount you’re spending when you do. From dining in restaurants on a set menu or buying rush tickets for the latest plays, there’s always a way of saving your cash without sacrificing a bit of fun.
Cutting back on your daily coffee run or after work drinks that never stay at ‘one’ are all easy ways to help you stretching your pennies.
There's An App For That
There are some great apps out there to help you with money maintenance. Although it might make you cringe to see what you’re spending all your money on, it’s better to rip the bandaid off, as they say…
For when it comes to the dreaded splitting of the bill between a group, there’s Venmo or Circle Pay. Or, for keeping track of things there’s always Yolt, among many more. If Facebook’s more of your cup of tea, you can chat away to Cleo.
It’s so easy to buy tempting things that we don’t really need – that’s marketing for you after all. We’re designed to be lured in by pretty things and flashing lights. But ask yourself this, do you really need that (insert item here) more than that trip to Australia you’ve been planning? Whilst the item you want to purchase might only be a few quid, it all mounts up. Have a goal – be it a car, a present for a loved one or a trip away, and keep that in the back of your head next time you have an Eve moment.
But at times, there are moments when an item you’re eyeing is worth the hefty price tag. Heard of “you pay for what you get”? Investing your money in an expensive, high-quality washing machine might seem like a drain on your funds, but it’s cheaper in the long-run. Without the need to always replace something that’s cheap and breaks down easily, sometimes it’s worth it.
There are plenty of books on personal finance out there, promising to save you money and get yourself out of debt etc, and while there’s a lot aimed at American audiences, there’s some out there written for this side of the pond. Martin Lewis is renowned for his tips and tricks on money saving, and even has his own site, MoneySavingExpert, so you can get on top of your finances. His books are particularly popular, though possibly taking cash saving to the extreme.
A dap hand in the sector, Martin provides tips on super cheap flights, how to get your money back in all sorts of scenarios, and he puts a more interesting spin on the boring stuff such as broadband, loan eligibility and travel money tax.
Throw It Out
Getting rid of things you don’t need anymore is a great way of clawing back some extra cash. Websites like Mazuma Mobile for giving away an old mobile for example will help you to get a quote on how much you’ll get in return. Or, for books it’s We Buy Books, for example. There’s a website out there for selling everything, including eBay of course – the obvious, and apps too!
And of course, investing your money is a time-old, traditional way of growing your money. There’s a wealth of information online about the best things to invest into- with varying degrees of risk. The explosion in cryptocurrency has created a lot of investment in them- but there’s a lot of jargon and a high level of risk involved, so exercise a plenty caution when it comes to this, since it is essentially gambling your money. Stashing your cash in lower risk investment such as National Savings is a great method of getting your feet wet before diving deep into the complicated world of investing.
Keep track of subscriptions and other monthly payments
With the advent of streaming and the internet becoming universal in our lives, it’s become considerably easier to take out recurring subscriptions to numerous services. Netflix, Amazon, Spotify etc can be great deals and value for what you get, but you can lose track of them if you’re not careful. It’s easy to take out a subscription to something, especially if you’re trying it out, and then lose interest or not find what you want, but accidentally forget or put off cancelling it. Be wary of 1 week or month trials too, since they usually need payment details to proceed, and if you don’t like something it’s easy to give up and forget to stop the payment in time. If you find yourself taking out a subscription to Disney+ only to find you don’t want to watch anything else other than a specific series- you may as well cancel it. You can always come back later.
To keep track of your subscriptions, Plum proves amazing for both automated, hassle-free saving and tracking your monthly payments by linking to your bank account, and helping you figure out what’s unnecessary.
The 50 30 20 Rule
A pretty famous money saving tip is the 50 30 20 rule. This is essentially a way of budgeting to help manage your spending in an easy to remember way. Using this method, your income is split into percentages: use 50% of your income on needs and the stuff that’s crucial- essential living expenses, bills, rent, food, and transport. Use 30% of your expenses on wants and more luxury expenses: eating out, subscriptions, shopping, gyms memberships, technology etc. Use 20% on savings, investments, pensions; essentially money to set aside for later. Of course you don’t need to follow an exact 50-30-20 breakdown, but it can be a good idea of what to aim for.
Keep An Eye On Your Overdraft
This one seems pretty obvious of course, but it’s nonetheless important: keeping track of your overdraft and how close you are to entering into it, is crucial to making sure you don’t go into unnecessary debt. Just dropping into arranged overdraft can be difficult to get out of, and going into unarranged overdraft will see you racking up interest charges and payments potentially being declined. It’ll also affect your credit score, making borrowing potentially difficult in the future. Make sure you can get yourself out of an overdraft as soon as possible, and consider getting your arranged overdraft limit changed (once you’ve gotten out of overdraft) if you’re finding yourself falling into it.