How do I Spend Less Each Month?

Many of us would like to have a bit more money left over at the end of each month. It can often be the case that we cannot wait for pay day because we need things and we do not have the money to buy them. However, there are ways that we can help this situation. One of these is to spend less money and then there will be more left for other things. This might seem almost impossible, but there might be some things you can try.

Split spending into necessities and luxuries

It is a good idea to start by looking at everything that you spend money on. Think about all of the items that you normally buy and whether you feel that they are necessary or not. It is not easy to do this but try to be subjective about it. For example, it is necessary to make loan repayments on your quick cash loans, pay your utility bills, pay tax and buy basic food. However, you might be paying more rent than necessary as you are in a house which is bigger than you need or something like that, however, if you have a rental agreement then you will need to stick to it.

Luxury items are things like buying a third car, when you already own two and can only drive one at a time, buying jewellery, charity donations, new clothes when you have plenty, holidays, eating out, alcohol, luxury food and all sorts of other things. It can be hard to decide which is which but think about which things you have to buy and which you choose to buy and can go without. At this point you are just splitting things out – be completely honest and do a correct list. You will not have to go without every luxury, but just thinking about things in terms of necessities and luxuries can be really helpful.

If you want to save money you should always compare prices.

Compare prices on the necessities

You will always have to buy the necessities but it could be possible for you to pay less for them. You cannot pay less for your tax, but do check that you are being taxed at the right rate. For example, your council tax and income tax bands may not be right so look into it and see whether you are paying more than necessary. Also look into your utilities and make sure that you are not paying more than you need to. It might be that you will be able to switch providers and pay less. This might also be the case with lenders as sometimes it is possible to switch to one with a lower interest rate and with insurers as there may be cheaper ones too. If you can switch some of these over then you could save quite a large amount of money. You may even be able to shop in a different supermarket or buy cheaper food products to save money there as well.

Decide if you need all the luxuries

This step is probably the hardest. You will need to think about whether you want all of the luxuries or not. If you want to spend significantly less money, then you will need to give some of them up. This can be hard and it can even feel like a punishment. However, think about the reason why you want more money and this should help you to be motivated to cut down. You might not have to give up every luxury anyway and so you will need to choose the ones that you think will be the best ones. Also compare prices on these as well as this will help you to spend less.

Is it Better to Save or Repay Debt?

If we have loans and savings, then we might wonder whether it is good to have both, better to have more savings and build those up or better to repay the loans and not have so many savings. It is well worth thinking about this and most people will tend to have some money saved and some loans, so they could be in this sort of dilemma. It is good to think through the decision.

Compare the costs

It is good idea to start by looking at the cost of the loan. If you have a loan you will normally be charged interest on it. This means that you will be charged for borrowing the money and this will usually just be a percentage but might include a fee as well. It is good to make of note of how much you are being charged. Do this for each loan that you have. Then do the same for savings. Of course, you will not be being charged money for keeping savings, but you will hopefully be being paid some interest in them. Take a look at how much that is as well. Then compare this with the amount that you are paying in interest on the loan. You will normally find that the interest that you are paying on the loan will be significantly higher than the amount of money that you are getting on your savings. So, if you used your savings to repay the loan, you will save a lot of money.

However, you do need to be aware that some lenders will charge you if you repay the loan early. This means that you should check and see if this is the case with yours. Some will not charge at all but some could charge thousands of pounds, particularly if you are thinking of repaying your fixed rate mortgage early. Make sure that you check this because this cost could be so high, that you might find it is better for you to actually not repay it as you will be financially worse off.

Consider what the savings are for

It is also worth noting what you are actually saving for. It is important to think about whether the worth of that money is more than paying off the loan. It is a very personal thing though. You need to consider the cost of keeping the savings compared to that of the loan in a financial sense as well as an emotional sense. If the money is there to fall back on, then consider whether you might have other options. If you have a credit card or overdraft facility then you might be able to use these if you need money to fall back on, if you do not have enough money in the future. Hopefully you will not need this anyway. If you are saving money for a specific item, then think about whether it might be better to repay the loans and then save up for the item. Once your loans are repaid, you will have a lot more money available to save as you will not be paying out interest or loan repayments and it may not take you that long to accumulate some money to be able to save up for that item.

It is not an easy decision to make and it can be hard work to save money and using it to repay a debt can sometimes seem like you are getting nothing in return. However, think about the amount of money you are making by doing this – calculate the amount of interest you will no longer have to pay as a result of repaying the debt and this should help to motivate you.

Should I have Multiple Credit Cards?

 

If you have a credit card, you may sometimes wonder whether it is worth getting another one. It is good to think this through though, before you get another card to make sure that it is the right decision. Ask yourself a few questions which will help you to make a better decision.

Why do I want the additional card?

To start with it is a good idea to ask yourself why you are looking for an additional card. Think about the reasoning for it. The most likely reason is because you want to get extra credit so you can spend more money on items. If this is the case then you need to think about those items and whether you really need them. It could be that you want to buy an expensive item but your other card will not give you enough credit because you have already spent on it and so you need a new one. It could be that you want to make sure that you use a credit card for a particular purchase because it will give you some security and insurance. This is because the credit card is more secure to use online than a debit card as there is a fraud protection and there is insurance so if the item does not turn up or is not fit for purpose and you cannot get help from the retailer or seller on getting money back, you can get it form the card issuer instead.

Repaying your card balance in full can be a great way to reduce repayments on going.

How will it help me?

Once you have established the reason why you want the card, you will be able to think about whether this is a good reason for getting one. Consider what you are buying with it and whether that item is even necessary. Consider whether the card might just tempt you to spend more money, perhaps on things that you do not really need. Some people almost see the credit on a card as money for them to spend and do not think about the fact that they will have to pay it back at some point.

Will I pay it off?

With a credit card you get different options for repaying. You can repay the full amount each month, by setting up a direct debit to do so or just making a full payment. It is easier to set up a direct debit as then you will not forget about making the payment. You could though, just choose to repay the minimum amount, which usually just covers the cost of the interest and a little more. If you do this you will have outstanding debt and will have to keep paying interest on it until it is repaid and if you always repay the minimum it could take a very long time to repay it all. You could choose to repay something in between these two amounts so that you start to repay some of the debt but not all of it. You will still be charged interest, but it will not be so much as you will not owe so much money.

What is the interest?

It is worth knowing how much the interest will be. It is often shown in a percentage and can be hard to calculate in monetary terms. However, it will say on the statement how much the interest charged will be if you do not pay it off, so use this figure is well worth finding and thinking about. Consider how much it is and whether you are happy to pay this much money extra for the item that you are buying. Obviously, you will not have got the new card yet to do this with, but as you already have a card, look at a previous statement and look at it on there and this should help you to work it out and decide if it is a right choice for you.

Is it Worth Getting a Store Card?

There are many shops that have store cards and you may wonder whether it will be worth getting any. It is worth knowing how they work so that you are aware of the system and then you can make a decision about whether you think they will work out for you.

How do store cards work?

A store card works in a similar way to a credit card but instead of being able to spend it anywhere, you can only use it in the particular shop it is affiliated with. This means that You can use it to buy items in the shop and you will not need to pay for them until they send you a statement. This can be up to 6 weeks after purchase and then you will have the option of paying for the items, paying just a minimum amount or something in between the two. This means that you will get interest free credit until the card is due to be paid off. However, if you do not pay it in full, you will start to be charged interest on what you owe. This interest can be quite high, so it is worth being aware of how much it is and thinking about whether you want to pay it.

The store cards can open up opportunities for you too. Sometimes card holders get extra discounts, previews to sales and things like that. This can be really great if it is a store you shop in frequently as these discounts could help you to save a lot of money. Of course, we always need to be careful with discounts. This is because, we could find that we are buying things because they are reduced, rather than buying what we need or want and waiting to buy them until they are discounted. This second option is the one where you will save money the first option you will just spend money that you had not planned on spending.

Will they work for me?

Some people find the cards work really well for them. They use them to take advantage of the offers and the interest free credit. They pay the bills as soon as they arrive in full (or better still set up a direct debit so they never forget) and then they are able to use the cards to their advantage. If you think you will be able to do this, then the chances are that they will suit you really well.

However, some people find that because they have the card, they shop more often, buy things they do not need and do not pay it off so end up paying a lot of interest. It might stop people comparing prices between shops as they know they can pay in this one with their card so they may end up paying more than necessary for items. They also just might be tempted to go in the shop more often and get tempted to buy all sorts of things. The fact that it feels like we are not paying for the items can make it feel like we are shopping for free and so we feel like we  This is not good as it means that having the card costs you money and you do not want this to happen.

So, think about what you are likely to be like if you have a card and this should help you to decide whether it will be a good decision for you to have one or not. It might be hard to tell really but you will need to think about whether you have had a card like this before and how it worked out. Also think about your attitude towards money and debt and how you might react when having a card.

How to Sell things to make Money

 

People often sell things to make money. However, it is not always easy to know how to do this. There are different ways that you can sell items and the method you choose could depend on the type of items you are selling. A few of the main methods that people use are described below.

Car boot sale

A car boot sale can be a good way to sell lots of lower value items. If you have a lot of things that you no longer need but want to get rid of such as books, clothing, toys, games, household items, DVDs etc then this could be a good way to sell them. The cost to sell is not a lot of money and so will only need to sell a few things to make that back and then you will be able to make a profit on everything else you sell. You will not be able to price things too highly though, so if you have items that you feel will be worth quite a bit of money, then you may be better off trying to sell them another way. It is also best to do a sale when the weather is good because more buyers will go and you will have a bigger chance of selling more. Also arrive early because you will then have a chance of selling to everyone, if you arrive late then some of the buyers will have already left.

Table top sale

This is a similar to a car boot sale but it is inside which means that it can be done even if the weather is not good. You may not be able to sell as much as it is likely that the table will be smaller than the boot of your car. You may find you get less potential buyers as well, but it will depend on the location and the publicity it gets. Car boot sales tend to be busy because they are so many sellers but with a table top sale there is likely to be less sellers as the venue is likely to be smaller than a field used for a car boot sale.

eBay

Selling online is popular and eBay is one of the more popular sites for doing this. It does charge a fee for listing items for sale and when you sell them and you will also be charged a fee by Paypal for processing the payment. This means that it is a good idea to only sell items that you feel are worth a significant amount or else you may not make enough money to cover those costs. You can look at what has sold and how much for so that you can calculate whether it will be worth you selling these items on the site.

Amazon marketplace

You can sell mainly books here but it is possible to sell other products too. There s no listing fee but Amazon will take a percentage of the selling amount and the postage. You will need to therefore make sure that you charge enough to allow for this. They also have strict rules about selling certain items, where you have to rent warehouse space for them to distribute the items rather than you having them and selling from home. This is only in certain categories but can make it too expensive to sell those specific items.

Car boot apps

There are car boot sale aps where you sell as if at a car boot sale but virtually. This will have advantages as many more people can potentially see it compared to a proper car boot sale but you will need to post the items so there will be the hassle of doing that. There may also be fees for selling, depending on the app that you choose.

Social media for sale pages

Some social media sites have groups or pages where you can sell things locally. This can be useful because can come and collect things form you or you can deliver it easily. They can pay in cash if they want to as well. It is also free to list the items for sale so you have nothing to lose by listing them. However, sales tend to be slow.