How To Ensure You Always Have Spare Cash

How to ensure you always have spare cash

If you are constantly finding yourself struggling for cash after payday and maybe relying on your overdraft or payday loans, it might be time to take a good look at your finances. There is nothing more limiting than finding your bank account is empty or not being able to go out when your friends are and this is a sure sign you are not managing your finances efficiently enough. A lack of finances can also be difficult if emergencies arise, such as urgent repairs or bills. These are some effective ways to make sure you always have spare cash available.

 

Start saving

The best way to ensure you always have cash available is to start saving and the sooner the better. You don’t need to save large amounts, but by putting money away – either at home, in a savings account – or both, you will ensure you always have something spare when you need it. It is a good idea to have multiple places for saving money, but even if you save as little as £1 per week, it is still helpful for a rainy day. The aim would be to save about 20% of your earnings though, as this will build into a nice pot of savings if you keep going. Even if you are paying off debt, it is still a good idea to put a small amount away in case you need it. A good way to look at savings is to consider it as a bill which needs to be paid and set up a direct debit so that it comes out automatically, along with your other payments.

 

Penny drop

You will be surprised at how quickly your spare change can mount up, if you throw your pennies in a jar and these can come in really handy for emergency situations. Most of us don’t tend to use coins when paying for purchases, so round up your purchases, stick the remainder in a jar and you will instantly have some rainy day savings to enjoy when you need it.

 

Stick to a budget

If you can’t control your spending, you need to become better at sticking to a budget. Work out exactly how much you can afford each day, if you want to have some money left over at the end of the month. There are plenty of apps you can use to track your budget, or you might want to do this manually. If you know how much you have coming in and how much you can afford to spend so you don’t run out of cash, it will be much easier to ensure you stick to a budget.

 

Cut out luxuries

If you always find yourself with a lack of cash at the end of the month, you may want to look at cutting down on some of your luxuries. For instance, if you are ordering takeaways as soon as you get paid, it might be cheaper to do a monthly shop and cook your meals instead. If it’s cheaper to take the train than drive to work, this might be another luxury you can do without. Even buying coffees every day can quite quickly add up. These may seem like little luxuries but they can end up costing a fortune throughout the year.

 

High-interest account

If you use a high interest account, make sure you can easily see how much you have gained throughout the year, as this can be a good way to keep you motivated and on track with your savings. Print it out and stick it up on a wall so you can easily look at it every day, as this will keep you on track.

 

Earn more than spend

In the same way as you need to burn more calories than you consume to lose weight – the same applies to managing your finances. You need to earn more than you spend to become financially secure and this is the mistake many people make, which is why so many people are in major debt these days. It is a simple fact, but if you don’t have the money – don’t spend. It might sound boring but the more careful you are with your money, the more you will have to spare.


9 Money Saving Apps You Can’t Afford To Miss Out On

9 money saving apps you can’t afford to miss out on

If you are always look at new ways to save money, you have probably already tried tracking your budget and changing your finances – but how long does this end up lasting? Most of us start with good intentions, but soon find ourselves getting sidetracked and our budget ends up suffering as a result. If you could track your budget and get your finances in order, it would be much easier and with these handy apps, you can do just that. These are just some of the money saving apps you don’t want to miss out on.

 

1. Spendee

Are you spending money but not sure where it’s going? Does it seem like money is going out quicker than it comes in? It’s probably time to take better control and you can do this with the free app, Spendee. This app helps you to keep track of your budget by entering spends as you go along, so you never forget to track a purchase. This app can help you to save a lot of cash if you stick to it.

 

2. Mint

This handy app offers everything you could hope for managing your finances and it is all under one roof. You can track your bills, pay off your debt, create budgets and many more. This is a great, handy way to keep your finances in order and get an idea of where you are spending your money and where you can make cutbacks. Mint is a free app, which is available on both Android and iOS.

 

3. Money Dashboard

You can link up your bank accounts with this app, so you can see exactly where your money is being spent and where you can make some changes to be much financially efficient. The app can also help you to save cash where you need to and pay off any debt you have. If you want to be more financially aware – this is a good app to do just that.

 

4. Moneyhub

This is another great app for helping you to see when money is coming in and how much you are spending. You can look at all your account together, including your savings and business accounts, look at your spending habits and where you can make changes to make your money go further. You can also connect to professionals who can help offer you support and advice on your spending.

 

5. Quidco

If you’re shopping anyway, this app can be a handy way to earn while you spend. You can take photos of the products which you want to redeem for cashback, upload them and the cash will be paid into your account. Shopping will be much more fun with this handy app!

 

6. TopCashBack

In the same way as Quidco, this is another cashback app which allows you to make money as you spend. The small amounts of cashback here and there can really add up, so it is definitely worthwhile giving this one a try.

 

7. My Supermarket

If you want to know where to get the best deal on all your shopping products, this is the app for you. This will compare the prices on your favourite products, so you know exactly where to go to get the best deal. This is updated daily and you can compare products from all the top supermarkets, including Tesco and Morrisons.

 

7. Big Oven

This app is a good way to save for those who waste a lot of food, as it gives you ingenious ideas for creating new recipes from old food. You can follow other food bloggers and get ideas from your friends. If you want to cut down your costs when shopping for food and making meals – this is the app for you.

 

8. Trainline

If you travel a lot, this is a handy app for saving you money. You can get the best deals by keeping track of when tickets go on sale and the easier you do this, the more money you will save. If you are always on the go – download this app to save you some cash.

 

9. Music Magpie

If you have CD’s and DVD’s lying around, you can stick them on this app and make some money in the process. You might even want to use this on the go as you visit car boot sales and charity stores.


How To Treat Yourself For Free (Or Low Cost)

 

How to treat yourself for free (or low cost)

Most people have busy lives these days and this is why it is vital to take time to refresh and pamper yourself. We all need time for ourselves, which doesn’t involve work or stress – just simply being alone and unwinding. If you don’t have much spare cash, you might think that you can’t afford to pamper yourself, but there are plenty of ways you can treat yourself for free or at a very low cost. These are some options you might want to try.

 

Read a book

No matter what is going on in your life, taking some time to relax and read a book is a great way to escape any of your stresses. It is proven that those who read frequently are less stressed, in general, than those who don’t do any reading. If you don’t have anything to read at home, pop into your local library and stock up or visit your local charity where you will pick books up at low cost. Get yourself a big bar of chocolate and you have an instant low cost way to treat yourself.

 

Spa treatment

Spa treatments can cost a fortune, but you can actually create these in your own home – without spending a dime. Make yourself a homemade face mask, run a bath filled with soapy bubbles, light some candles and you have your very own relaxing spa treatment. Finish off with some moisturiser and a heated dressing gown and you will feel like you have enjoyed a truly indulgent experience.

 

Yoga

A great way to relieve stress; yoga is an exercise which you should aim to incorporate into your daily routine and best of all, it can be completely free. You don’t need to go to a class to enjoy all the benefits of yoga, you can watch videos for free on YouTube from the comfort of your own home.

 

Meditation

There are lots of free meditation apps to download but ultimately, you don’t really need anything to practice meditation. Get yourself comfortable, breathe in, hold and relax and continue this for at least ten minutes. You will soon find that over the course of a few weeks that you will start to feel much more relaxed. This is the ultimate way to relieve stress after a busy day.

 

Movie night

Why not relax in the evening by getting cosy and watching a few movies. If you have a subscription already to Netflix or similar, you won’t need to spend anything for this kind of pampering or you may want to dig out some old DVD’s. A glass of wine or bar of chocolate might make this even more relaxing.

 

Go to the park

Take a break from the norm and organise a half day from your work to do – absolutely nothing! Yes, you can do this, it is allowed and it will feel even better, knowing that you could be sitting at your desk instead. Take a walk to your local park, sit on a bench and read or just watch the world go buy. The simple things can make us the happiest at times and seeing a bit of nature is a good way to do this.

 

Have a nap

Sometimes the most indulgent things are those which we don’t get to do very often and for most, this includes going for a guilt-free nap. Instead of worrying about that housework you should be doing or those dishes which are piling up, just nap – and enjoy. It costs nothing and can be highly enjoyable.

 

Window shopping

It may not be as fun as real shopping, but if you don’t have the cash to splurge, it can still be refreshing to take a look – and try on your favourite clothes. You can even compile a list of items you want to buy when you do have some spare cash, or get the assistant to put them away for you to pick up later. This can be just as satisfying and you can top off your day with a cupcake and a coffee.

 

Beauty day

Spend an entire day pampering yourself with beauty treatments and you will feel better than ever. Do your own nails, enjoy a face mask and give yourself a foot massage.


Tips For Eating Healthy On A Budget

 

Tips for eating healthy on a budget

There is a belief that eating healthily means you need to pay a fortune on your shopping and some feel that eating the right foods is just not affordable for their budget. However, in many ways, eating the wrong foods can be much more expensive. If you find that your food expense is much higher than you would like, these are some ways tips for eating healthily, while still sticking to your budget.

 

Write a list

A good way to stay on track with your healthy eating is to write a list of all the shopping items you need to prepare your meals. It is a good idea to get some recipes for healthy meals, so you know exactly what you need to buy and you don’t get sidetracked into buying unhealthy food. If you don’t plan ahead, it is easy to end up wasting a lot of money and buying foods with no nutritional value.

 

Buy in bulk

If you don’t tend to buy a weekly or monthly shop, you will probably find that you end up shopping a lot during the week – and this can quite quickly add up. It is much more cost effective to set yourself a budget for the week and do a big shop. Not only will you be more likely to shop for healthy foods, you’ll save yourself some cash in the process.

 

Cheaper stores

If you tend to go for the most expensive brand, this could be one of the reasons your shopping list is so high. Obviously some brands taste better than others, but this doesn’t necessarily mean the more expensive ones. You can significantly reduce your shopping bill if you just shop at cheaper stores or you look at less expensive brands.

 

Prepare your meals

You have probably heard how important prepping your meals is for staying healthy and this is also imperative for the purpose of saving cash. You should aim to plan your meals for the entire week on a Sunday, so you know exactly what you will be eating each day. Another good trick is to prepare your meals and freeze the leftovers for the next day. This will save you a lot of money and you will be far less likely to want to order a takeaway.

 

Homemade lunches

It may not seem like much, but if you spend £3 a day on your lunch, this adds up to over £700 the year! There is not only the cost to consider, but you don’t really know what you are eating most of the time and if you are consuming pre-made sandwiches for instance, they are probably laden with calories. It is far healthier and less costly to make up your lunch the previous night. It will probably be far more enjoyable too, as you won’t need to wonder how your meal has been prepared. Again, it is all about being prepared.

 

Skip the junk food

Junk food is not only unhealthy, but it is also extremely costly and as such, is best to avoid at all costs. This is why preparation is so important, as if you already have all the right foods at home, you won’t be reaching for that takeaway menu. A takeaway can easily cost between £10-20 and you can actually get a full week of shopping for not much more than this. If you want to get healthy and reduce your costs, it’s time to put those takeaway menus where they belong; in the bin!

 

Discount vouchers

There are lots of places to pick up discount vouchers, which you can use to get money off your shopping and it is well worth making use of these. If you take a look on money saving websites, such as Money Saving Expert, you’ll find discount codes and vouchers which you can use to get some money off your shopping. If you feel embarrassed using vouchers at the checkout, just do your shopping online instead.

 

Sales

Supermarkets tend to cut their prices down when products are about to go out of date, so if you choose wisely, you could get your shopping at cut prices and save yourself some money, while still maintaining a healthy diet.


30 Days To Get Your Finances In Order

 

30 days to get your finances in order

The bills keep arriving and you feel like you are drowning. You barely have enough money to see you through the month after pay day, but is there a way to get out of this mess – quickly? If you adopt the right strategies, you can get your finances in order within 30 days, as long as you are committed to achieving results. These are some ways to get your finances back in shape as quickly as possible.

 

Get your credit report

In order to start getting your finances back on track, you need to get a better understanding of what state they are currently in. The best way to do this is to access your credit report, which will show your debtors and how much you owe. It is also important to determine any errors on your credit file and contact the company directly. If you are not on the voting register, this is another aspect which can affect your credit rating. Analysing your credit report is not the most enjoyable task for those who owe a lot of money – but it is best to go into this with your eyes open. Whatever the results, there are plenty of ways to make improvements and get your finances back in order.

 

Increase your income

It may not be as easy as it sounds, but improving your finances naturally means earning and saving more, so this is what you need to set your mind to do. It may be that you can pick up some overtime in your work, do another job or earn in other ways, such as selling on eBay. It doesn’t matter if you increase your earnings by as little as £10 per month – every penny helps.

 

Track your budget

The best way to start sorting out your finances is to understand where you are spending your money – and you may just be surprised with the results. Work out exactly how much you are spending and what you are bringing in, categorise these to see where your money is going and you’ll be able to start cutting costs to save money. It is important to remember that although this seems like it will be a bit of a pain to do; you might feel that it’s ruining your fun in some ways – but bear in mind that by making these small changes, you’ll be able to benefit by having better and more rewarding things in the long term. If you get your finances in order, you will have the spare cash for better things, such as holidays etc., so take care of your finances now for the results in the future.

 

Compare suppliers

Take a look at your current suppliers and see if you can get a better deal elsewhere. For instance, your gas and electricity, mobile phone and broadband. There are lots of price comparison websites out there, so there is no excuse not to get the best deal on the market. If you change your suppliers, make sure you do this via a cashback website, as you can pick up some ‘free’ money this way and make some extra cash.

 

Make savings

It is good if you can put some money away each month, but there are also other ways to make savings. Your bank account may be offering features which you didn’t realise and these could be saving you money on your everyday expenses. What about your Boots advantage card or store card, are you making use of these? These are all small savings, which can add up over the year, so check what your suppliers are offering, you’ll probably find that there are lots of benefits you were not aware of.

 

Find free activities

Just because you’re trying to save money, it doesn’t mean you need to lock yourself at home – there are plenty of activities out there to enjoy. A quick search for free activities in your local area will give you a good idea of what you can do, without spending much (or any!) money. You will probably find that there are lots of enjoyable activities out there which you would never have even thought of before and you might end up seeing more of your local area too.