At the end of the month when all your bills are paid off, do you ever wish you had more money left in your bank account?
Maybe you’d like to save up for a new car or a dream holiday. Perhaps you are struggling with the rising cost of living and just need a little more disposable income to provide for your family.
We’d all like to earn more money and not have to worry about our financial situation, but a lot of people simply have to struggle through life and make the most with what they’ve got. But fortunately, there are ways for people of all demographics and income brackets to make their money go further.
Here are ten tips to be smarter with your money and give your finances a much-needed boost.
1. Learn to budget
If you are the kind of person who is permanently in their overdraft and spends money they don’t have on expensive goods, then you need to learn to budget.
Creating a system to organize your finances will help you rein in your spending and identify areas where you can save money and improve your quality of life.
Open Microsoft Excel and plot a table of your monthly incomings and outgoings. There are plenty of free templates online you can use if you’re not the most technologically savvy person in the world.
This budget will enable you to see where your money is going and perform a full financial audit on yourself to spot areas where you can cut back.
2. Limit your unnecessary expenses
Life is about enjoying yourself, and we all deserve a little treat from time to time. That said, it is possible to overdo it. If you are always blowing your paycheck on designer clothes and fancy restaurants, you are inevitably going to struggle to save money.
It’s best to save the extravagant purchases for an occasional treat and be smarter about your outgoings. Go through your budget and look at how you are spending your money.
When you see your expenses all in one place it may finally hit home how much you are wasting. Try to identify any unnecessary costs you could get rid of and divert that money into your savings instead.
3. Clear your debts
If you owe money on your credit card or you are in your overdraft, you should work on repaying your loans and clearing your debts.
Otherwise, if any unexpected expenses crop up, this will push you further into financial trouble.
Being debt-free can improve your credit score and will make it easier for you to make substantial purchases like buying a home or a car.
4. Set a savings goal
Saving money can be difficult if you have no plan, and that’s why it’s useful to create a target to aim for.
If you are putting money aside for something specific, work out how much it costs and how long it will take you to save that amount based on your household budget.
This way, you know exactly how much you need to put into your savings each month, and having a clear timeframe will make you more motivated to stick to your good habits.
5. Make small changes
A few minor changes to your spending habits can add up and make a huge difference. If you have a tendency to buy an expensive Starbucks latte on your way to work, with a little planning you can eliminate this cost and make your own coffee at home.
If you’re spending fifty dollars a month on a gym membership you only use sporadically, you could save six hundred dollars a year by working out for free at home.
Pricey takeaway meals and fancy restaurants are a nice treat every once in a while but you can learn how to cook your own dinners that are just as delicious at only a fraction of the cost.
6. Buy in bulk
Buying products in bulk is a surefire way to save money.
Whenever you make a purchase, have a look online to see if you can get a discount by ordering more of the things you use.
Many staple foodstuffs like rice, cereal, and pasta can be bought in vast quantities, and the same goes for things like cleaning products, batteries, and pet food.
7. Use a budgeting app
Whatever problem you need to solve, you can be certain that there is an app to help you do just that. There are so many budgeting applications that will help you organize your finances and cut down on your spending with ease.
Take a look at this list of the best budgeting apps for some advice on which one to choose.
8. Invest wisely
Many people feel that investing is for rich people and those with a degree in economics, but anyone can do it. Even if you don’t know the difference between stocks and shares or the various ways to use a crypto wallet, that doesn’t mean you can’t learn.
Take an online course in investing, read books, or find an experienced mentor to ease you in gently. Start with small investments, and as you gain knowledge and confidence you can slowly ramp it up.
9. Shop around
When making a purchase, you shouldn’t settle for the first price you see. If you are wise with your money, you will shop around to find the best deal. Compare supermarkets when doing your weekly food shop to see who offers the lowest price.
Fill up your car at the gas station that is currently selling fuel the cheapest. By being picky about your purchases, you will see your outgoings start to decline.
10. Hire an accountant
Sometimes you need a little outside help to get you started, and there is no better person to help you with your money troubles than a qualified accountant.
Although they come at a price, accountants will usually help you save more money than they cost. They will be able to show you how you can reduce your expenses and identify ways to give your income a boost.