Ok so as Christmas Day comes to a close and as the New Year beckons it’s a great time to start some new habits especially in terms of your finances.
A nationwide poll which was commissioned by BBC1’s Watchdog noted that after Christmas people experience debt. The amount is on average likely to be around £250 per person with younger adults more likely to experience it.
Below I have listed a few tips to help you start to boost that bank balance.
INCOME VERSUS EXPENDITURE
I highly recommend noting down your income and expenditure – in fact to help you along the way I am offering you a FREE printable income and expenditure sheet all set up for you to enter your income and expenditure.
Once you have done that set yourself a budget for the next few months that is both realistic and achievable.
GET SMART – SHOP AROUND
After you have completed the income and expenditure sheet start shopping around for better deals on things such as your buildings and contents insurance, pet insurance, health insurance or indeed your credit cards. Have a look at Go Compare to get quote for your insurance needs including your gas and electric to see if you are on the best deals – if not then change! You could save yourself hundreds each year.
USE CASHBACK APPS & COUPONS
Hunt for coupons and vouchers to cut down on those grocery costs. Coupons are not just for food either, you can also get them for beauty products! Not forgetting the apps that you can download to your phone and get cash back from. Here is the list…
First download the app from the link here. The cashback offers can be valid for in-store and online but there are terms and conditions for each so check carefully. There is also an expiry date on the purchase – again check this carefully.
First look at what offers are listed on the app, buy the product and then take a photo of the receipt, upload it and get the cashback credited to your account. Once you reach the £5.00 minimum payment you can transfer the amount to either your Paypal account or your bank account.
In order to access ClickSnap you will need to sign up to Quidco, just click here. Once you sign up to Quidco, download the ClickSnap app. Once you enter the app you will see a selection of what is on offer. You purchase the product, take a photo of your receipt, upload it and cashback is credited to your account.
You can withdraw your cash once you reach £1 and this can be paid either via your Paypal account or your bank account.
Again download the app from here and set up your account. Buy the product you are looking to get cashback on, take a photo of your receipt, upload it and get the cashback credited to your account.
Download the app from here. Each cashback offer can only be redeemed once per offer period. They normally change each Tuesday. Purchase any of the products you wish to have cashback on, scan the barcode (I would suggest doing this instore to make sure you have the correct product), take a photo of your receipt, upload it and get credited for the cashback amount.
Once you reach £4.00 you can transfer your cashback to either your Paypal account or your bank account.
Download the app and if you wish to sign up with my referral code KMHECCCP you’ll also get cashback for a FREE Green & Blacks Organic chocolate bar! The site is straightforward, the products you can claim cashback for are listed, purchase the product, scan the barcode, take a photo of your receipt and upload, credit is normally within the hour and is automatically transferred to your bank or Paypal account each claim you make.
Download the app, register, select what kind of coupons you are interested in and hey presto cashback options will appear on your phone. Please note GreenJinn only works in Sainsbury’s and Waitrose.
START A WEEKLY MEAL PLANNER
Another great way to save money is to plan ahead particularly when it comes to meals. The first step to planning meal times is to look through your store cupboard, your fridge and your freezer to see what is lurking there. Plan meals around what is already there – if you need additional items for that particular meal then just note those done and get what is on your list ONLY!
This will surely cut down on your grocery bill and together with the cashback apps you could save even more!
If you find a weekly meal plan daunting don’t worry – just take it a few days at a time that way you will start to get in the swing of planning meals and saving money!
AVOID IMPULSE BUYING
When you do go out, leave those credit cards behind and use cash only! It’s amazing how having cash stops you from making impulse buys, it also stops you from buying items you really don’t need. If you start this new habit it will most certainly bolster that bank balance not just in January but in the longer term.
It’s not just about cutting back it is also about increasing your income. There are many ways to do that. If you have time to spare you could try out mystery shopping, or completing surveys during your lunch break or indeed you could start a blog. You could also sell your unwanted clothes, CDs, and DVDs online or if you have a hobby – sell your handmade items at craft fairs or online.
If you are receiving benefits, visit your local Citizen’s Advice to make sure you are claiming everything you are entitled to. There are so many people that miss out because they are unaware of what they can claim. Make sure you are not one of them!
I have no doubt if you do the above you will be on a journey to reduce your outgoings and increas your income.
Happy Money Saving!
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