Sunday, 26 August 2018

Life | 7 Ways to make your money stretch further...

Budgeting is something that comes fairly naturally to me. When I was growing up my parents always taught me not to live beyond my means and if I do really want something, budget or save for it. And in a world where households have to pay out more for daily essentials, it now seems even more important to do so.

So how do I make my money stretch that little bit further?

001) Work out a total for your Direct Debits

At the beginning of the month, I always take note of any Direct Debits (like Council Tax) that will come off during the course of the month so I can automatically remove them from the total money I have to play with that month. As a general note, I prefer to pay by Direct Debit as my memory is terrible and it's probably important not to forget to pay these things.

002) Think before you buy

Seems kinda obvious but how many times have you bought something on impulse just because every other blogger has? I'm most definitely guilty of this and it's something I have been working hard to change. So far it's going really well. Sometimes even just putting something into an online basket and not checking out is now enough.

003) Food shop online

How many times have you been in a supermarket and come home with more than you went in for? Or worse, come home without the item you went in for? Yup, I've done that on multiple occasions. This is why I now do my food shopping online (most supermarkets offer a click and collect service too) so I'm not distracted by those end aisles where all the offers are cleverly placed. It also means that I can do it while in the comfort of my own home, watching Netflix,  not hungry and I can stick to a budget of my choosing. 

004) Download the app for your bank:

I know that some people don't like using banking apps for various reasons. However, I absolutely love mine. I'm always checking it to check my available balance (never actual balance!) and it makes it so much easier to know what is coming out when and how much money I have left to play with.

005) Ditch the take away coffees:

I used to be a coffee-and-commute kinda girl. I still am but the difference now is, I take my own. Once I added up how much a week I was spending on coffee (around £25.00) and multipled it by 4... well you can work out how much I was spending. Nowadays a jar of coffee for approximately £5 will last me at least a month and the rest of the money which was previously allocated to coffee is mine as I choose to see fit.

006) Utilise a pantry:

Supermarkets make it all so easy nowadays for us to become lazy when cooking: ready made sauces, microwave ready meals and not to mention the huge array of convenience food options available. I used to always go for the easy option, however I then discovered the joy of a pantry. While you may think building up a pantry is expensive, once you have the basics in and top up when required, it's actually a pretty cost-effective option. I love being able to go in and make a meal from scratch using things I already have for next to nothing.

007) Put the bank card down:

Bank cards - great little things of plastic but far too convenient. Even more so with the introduction of contactless payment. Admittedly I am really bad and use my card for everything -  I'm sure I used it recently for a 50p purchase. To be honest, you never really notice how much you frittle away on practically nothing until you switch to cash. It really is an eye opener.

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