Put Your Financial Worries To Bed With These Top Tips
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The past year has been incredibly tough, and as a result, you may be feeling a little more worried than usual about your finances. However, while certain things are beyond our control, there are steps you can take to ensure that you are in a better financial situation over the coming months.
With that in mind, here are some top tips you can use to put your financial worries to bed!
1. Put together a budget.
Whether you are trying to manage money when you have kids or ensure your paycheck can stretch until the end of a month, putting together a budget is a great way to ensure you keep on top of your money.
When putting together a budget, you need to write down a list of everything you need to pay for each month. This could include the cost of your:
- Utility bills (Electricity, heating, water, WIFI)
- Transport (Car fuel/diesel, public transport fares)
- Insurances costs (Medical care)
- Phone bill
- Subscription costs (Netflix, Amazon, etc.)
- Entertainment expenses (Dining out, leisure activities, hobbies)
Once you have the list, it can be easier to decide how much money you can allocate to each section. However, it is important that you stick to the budget as much as possible. Overspending by a tiny amount will not cause any problems, but repeated overspending could land you in a difficult situation.
If you struggle with sticking to budgets, you could use budgeting apps that help keep you in check and discourage wild spending.
2. Use the 50/20/30 method.
The 50/20/0 method is a budgeting technique that can serve as a great introduction to budgeting. It can also help you get on top of your debt and begin saving money fast. It works by helping you break down your spending into different categories. For example, say you earned $100. Of this $100, you should:
- Spend 50% of it on things you need.
- Spend 20% of the money repaying any debts our outstanding bills
- Spend 30% of the money on things that you want.
3. Make substitutions.
Another way in which you can cut down on your spending is by swapping out more expensive products for cheaper alternatives.
For example, if you are a coffee addict who purchases several coffees a week, instead of heading to Starbucks for your caffeine fix, why not make the coffee at home? You can bulk buy everything you need to recreate your favorite drinks – from coffee beans to syrups – saving you valuable money in the long run.
Other examples of finance-savvy substitutions include:
- Switching to supermarket brand products.
- Making your own smoothies instead of buying them premade.
- Buying cheaper cuts of meat or similar products.
- Cooking meals from scratch as opposed to buying pre-cooked meals.
You can earn more money from the comfort of your own home by picking up a side hustle. However, in order for this to work successfully, you have to enjoy that your side hustle relates to your hobbies or interests.
This will serve as great motivation to focus on your side hustle when you may be feeling tired or overworked in your primary profession. It can also help protect you against burnout. There are various different hobbies that you can easily turn into a source of income. For example:
Hobby: Painting, drawing or sketching.
Side Hustle: Selling copies of your work online (as digital or physical prints), designing greetings cards, accepting art commissions.
Side Hustle: Working as a copywriter for a blog or company, proofreading and editing documents or essays.
Hobby: Creating digital artwork.
Side Hustle: Working as a graphic designer.
Hobby: Sewing/altering clothes.
Side Hustle: Running your own clothing company, designing your own garments, or altering clothing.
As you can see, there is no end to the ways in which you can turn a hobby into a source of income. There are also various different sites you can use to advertise and sell your products. For example:
Side Hustle: Selling artwork.
Sites: Etsy, RedBubble.
Side Hustle: Writing.
Side Hustle: Selling digital artwork.
Sites: Redbubble, Etsy, Thortful.
Side Hustle: Sewing/altering clothes.
Sites: Depop, Vinted.
5. Buy second-hand items.
For some reason, there is still a slight stigma associated with buying items second-hand. This is due to a misconception that suggests the products are of a low quality. However, this is not true!
Buying pre-loved items is a great way to save money while still treating yourself. It can help replenish your wardrobe, decorate your home, and contributes to a good cause. Nowadays, you can pay for plenty of items second hand, including:
- Electronics (phones, laptops, computers)
Traditionally, second-hand purchases could only be obtained through browsing thrift stores – but you can now do a great deal of second-hand shopping online. To begin with, you should join local groups, such as ‘Buy, Sell and Swap’, and ‘Facebook Marketplace’.
This means that you can connect with sellers in your local area who are looking to get rid of their old items. Often, this means you can get your hand on high-quality products for a fraction of the original price.
6. Out with the old.
In the same way that you can easily purchase second-hand items online, you can also sell your own pre-loved items. Take a moment to look through your house and see if you can pick out any things that you no longer need or use.
This could include books that you have already read or clothes that don’t fit right. Once you have gathered these items together, consider selling them online. This is a great way to earn extra cash, and can also help declutter your home.
7. Consider additional help.
If you are struggling financially, it is important to remember that there is nothing wrong with reaching out for extra help and support. Whether this means you ask to lend money from your friends or family, consider Food assistance programs, or take out a short loan through a company such as Wise Loan.
This can be an easy, efficient way to help you navigate your way through a difficult or unexpected situation. For example, if your car breaks down, you could instantly be put under a great deal of financial strain – this includes repair costs and the prices associated with a recovery team coming to help you.
However, you should also ensure that you make a note of any money you borrow and factor your repayment plan into your monthly budget.
8. Meal prep.
Sometimes, when you get back from a hard day at work, the last thing you want to do is head to the kitchen and start cooking. Therefore, it is easy to reach for the takeout menu and order food for yourself and your family.
However, the cost of takeouts can quickly pile up – costing you hundreds of dollars in a single month. You can combat this by dedicating some time each weekend to meal prepping. This means you can cook plenty of meals ahead of time, saving you time and money in the long run.
Furthermore, meal prepping can help you adapt to a healthier lifestyle, as you can cook nutritious meals ahead of time. You can also buy most of the ingredients you need in bulk which has also been proven to save money over time.
9. Switch your utility provider.
Another way in which you can reduce your spending is by ensuring you are getting the best deals for your utilities. Sometimes, you may be overspending on these bills without even realizing it. Take some time to research the different utility brands, and see who has the best offers available, or ask your friends and family for advice.
Additionally, you should get in touch with your service provider for your phone and wifi – as they may be able to provide you with a better deal, reducing your bills significantly. Furthermore, many companies may be inclined to offer you a better deal if they feel as though you are looking elsewhere – so be prepared to negotiate.
10. Start couponing.
Couponing is a great way to save money on your spending. Coupons can be applied to a wide variety of purchases – online and in-store. However, it can be hard to find the right coupon for you, as sometimes they can only be used against items you don’t really want or need.
Thankfully, there are various tools you can use to make this easier. For example, you can install the Honey add on to your computer. Then, whenever you are making an online purchase, Honey will automatically scan the internet for discount codes and apply them for you.
In short, there are various steps you can take to save more money in your day to day life. However, the easiest way you can do this is simply to be more mindful of your spending and try to pull back on this whenever possible. This means that you can adapt to a budget and ensure that you remain in a good financial situation moving forward.