If you struggle to make ends meet, living payslip to payslip, you’re not alone. According to a recent study, about 25 per cent of British adults have no savings. If you find yourself low on cash and are wondering what you can do to stop living payslip to payslip, have hope. A few lifestyle changes combined with savvy shopping skills can help you gradually put some more cash in your purse.
These 10 tips can help you start saving today, without the need to get a second job or even leave your flat.
Step #1 — Sell your stuff
This was the first step I took when I started to take control of my finances. Decluttering not only made me feel better, but put a lot of extra cash in my pocket at the same time. Win-win! When was the last time you took a close look at everything in your flat – in your closets, shelves, and that dreaded drawer that you never open because it’s packed to the brim with junk? You’d be surprised at what’s hiding in there, and how much it’s all worth. I used Facebook Marketplace, Craigslist and eBay to sell my things. They are all free and easy to use, and you can set your own prices!
Set a goal to make an extra $150 decluttering your flat this month, and immediately add it to your bank account — every little bit adds up!
Step #2 — Take online surveys.
If you’re sitting in front of the telly mindlessly watching something, why not pull out your smartphone or laptop and take some short surveys? Whether in the form of cash, gift vouchers or free products to test, it pays to get something for nothing by simply sharing your opinion.
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My favourite survey site is InboxPounds. They pay you £8 for every 30 minutes of watching videos and taking surveys, and they’ve paid out roughly £40,000,000
to date worldwide, so they know what they’re doing. And, the surveys are actually interesting!
Step #3 — Sell your smartphone pics.
You’ve got your smartphone on you anyway, so why not start making extra money by simply noticing what’s going on in the world around you. An app called Foap wants your quality photos and will split the profits with you for any picture sold. So if someone buys your pic for £10, you’ll get £5 each time it sells.
Step #4 — Have credit card balances? Shop around for lower interest rates
If you’re only paying the minimum balance when your credit card payment is due, it’s difficult to get out of debt as the interest continues to build. Try shopping around for a card with a lower interest rate and transfer your balance to that card. Some cards even offer promotional rates where you pay no interest for a specific period. So if you have £10,000 in credit card debt and are paying a 16% annual percentage rate, you could save £133 per month during the promotional period.
Step #5 — Break up with the coffee shop.
When your barista starts recognizing you by name, but you can’t even afford your coffee, it might be time to start making your coffee at home. Doing so allows you to customize your drink exactly how you want it. You may need to invest in an espresso maker first, but doing so can save you money for years to come.
Step #6 — Charged a late fee? Ask for a one-time courtesy refund.
You would be surprised as to how easy it can be to get a fee waived once you muster up the courage to simply ask. Realize that they’ll probably only do this once a year, but it’s better than losing you as a client. If you’re habitually late only because you forgot to pay, consider setting automatic payments so you don’t get charged late fees again.
Step #7 —Get paid for searching online.
Next time you need to search for something online, skip Google and instead use InboxPounds. Yes, on top of getting paid to complete surveys and watch videos, you can also get paid for searching on InboxPounds. And you’ll get a £1 Bonus just for trying it!
Step #8 — Switch car insurance companies.
Car insurance is one of those expenses that most people dread paying, simply because unless you get in a crash and really need it, there’s an intangible reward for having it. And wouldn’t you rather spend that money on a salon visit or new pair of shoes? What’s worse is that car insurance companies make most of their money by taking advantage of their loyal clients. If you don’t shop around when renewal time rolls around, they’ll likely raise your rates. The good thing is that it’s easy to compare prices online. A quick 10 minutes saved me £552 per year.
Step #9 — Get cash back for shopping.
It may seem counterintuitive to shop when you’re trying to save money, but for items you really need to buy, why not get cash back for buying them? Topcashback.co.uk offers money back for shopping both online and in-store. It’s free to join and offered worldwide. Just search for your desired retailer through their website and shop like you normally would. The retailer pays TopCashback a commission for your purchase that you can withdraw when it is available.
Step #10 — Take advantage of new checking account offers.
Lots of banks try to get new customers in the door by offering bonuses for opening new accounts, and even more for having your payslip direct deposited. Consider keeping your old account open as strictly a savings account, as long the bank doesn’t charge any fees.
Stressing about money can really take a toll on you. So before saying no to any of the above tips, simply give them a try. Put an end to debt for good and reward yourself once in a while as you make progress. After all, a massage feels much better knowing you’ve earned it!
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