Monday, July 18, 2022

Ways To Help Make Your Budget Go Further

The financial outlook the world over has changed. Costs are rising in just about every sector and budgets are having to adapt to account for it. Whether you are an avid saver by nature, saving to buy your first home, or just looking to make your expenditure go a little further each month it has currently never been harder. So, in a bid to help you get the most out of your money and stretch your budget to its max, here are some helpful hints and tips to make your budget go further.

Photo credit; Kindle Media From Pexels

A side hustle to grow the budget?

How many times have you calculated and re-calculated your budget and come to the same conclusion, that it is just not enough? Your salary is just not covering your needs or allowing you to spend and save the way you want or need to. If this sounds familiar then why not consider other avenues that you can pursue to expand your budget. If you do not think you can cut costs or make one more sacrifice then look for ways you can earn more. 

One of the great methods that more and more people are turning to is the trusty side hustle. A side project on top of your daily commitments that uses your skills, hobbies, or interests to bring in a little extra cash. There is no end to how you can use a side hustle to earn a little extra pocket money, it could be by buying and selling bitcoin, starting a blog, or an Etsy shop selling your homemade crafts. What about indulging your love of fitness and teaching fitness classes in the evenings, or freelancing your day job skills on the side. If you have a flair for web design then why not help out friends and family who might need it for a fee? There are so many ways you can put your skills and interests to good use, all the while bringing in a little extra spending money. 

Sell unwanted items

Ok, so perhaps you don’t have the time or inclination to set up a side hustle, it is not for everyone. Another great way to bring in a little extra money is to sell your unused or unwanted items. With the world becoming more sustainable and prices rising consumers have never been more ready to buy used goods. What is more, the rise of apps such as Vinted and Shpock, make it easier than ever. If nothing else, Facebook Marketplace and eBay are ever popular and reliable ways to sell off your unwanted items. Whether it is clothes you no longer wear or furniture you do not want you can but guarantee there will be someone out there who does, and who will be willing to pay you for it. Keep all the money you make from selling your items in a separate account and watch it grow, you will be surprised at just how much you can amass.  

Check your credit card rates

Are you paying interest on your credit card? Do you know how much interest you are paying? Now is the time to check out the rates you are paying on your existing credit card balances. If you think you are paying a little too much then look into whether you can capitalize on a 0% interest balance transfer card. This could see you avoid paying interest on your card debt for years. You may need to pay a small transfer fee but it could save you in the longer run. With interest rates rising all over the world it is advisable to act sooner rather than later.

Photo credit; Pixabay From Pexels

Check your subscriptions

Run through your monthly expenditure and highlight all of your subscriptions and repeat payments. Once you have identified them all, ask yourself if you are using all of them? Are you using your gym membership? Are you watching the sports channels and do you really need that gourmet wine membership? If the answer is no to any of those then make sure you cancel your memberships or subscriptions. If you don’t want to cancel completely, many services allow you to pause your membership, so make the most of this option. 

Collect loyalty points

Not all loyalty schemes may be worth it, but some certainly are. If you regularly shop at the same stores then collecting up points can be a really simple and effective way of earning money back. Money that can be used to reduce the price of your next purchase.

Have a separate emergency fund 

Home emergencies can happen at any time, yet whenever they do it always feels like the worst possible timing. If you have an ‘in case of emergency fund’ it will give you peace of mind that you can meet the costs of urgent repairs and fund the essentials that you were not budgeting for. This separate fund also helps to ring-fence and protect your savings pot when the worst happens. There is nothing more demoralizing than dipping into your hard-earned savings for unforeseen and unexpected emergencies.

Limit your energy usage 

One of your biggest expenses at the moment is likely to be the cost of energy and chances are it is only going to rise. To help you keep on top of rising energy costs here are some ways you can help keep the cost of your energy bill down; 

  • Turn off standby. It is oh so easy and oh so convenient to use standby but it can be costing you considerably. Make the effort to get up and turn the TV (and all other appliances) off at the wall when you are not using them.

  • Turn off the lights. The same goes for lights, never leave a room and leave the lights on. If you are not there, then turn off the lights. 

  • Have a shower instead of a bath, and try to keep your shower down to around 4 minutes. 

  • Turn down your thermostat and install a smart thermostat. By reducing your heating by even 1 degree you could see a notable saving in your energy usage. Further, smart thermostats allow you to control the heating from your smartphone, wherever you are. So if you have gone out and forgot to turn the heating off, no problem. Simply do it from your phone and save yourself the energy cost.

  • Insulate your property and draught-proof your windows and doors. This will help keep the heat inside your home instead of paying to watch it evaporate through the roof and windows. 


Another unavoidable cost that is filtering into daily life is the cost of gas and this affects you whether you take public transport or use your car. Of course, transportation is a necessity but ask yourself, are you spending more than you need? In essence, you need to get from one place to another, but is the way you are doing it costing you extra money? Here is an example, say you get the train as part of your commute, how are you getting to the train station? Are you getting a taxi, driving, or taking the bus? When a 15 or 20-minute walk will get you to the same place. Of course, everyone just wants to get home as quickly as possible after a day's work but don’t overlook the financial and importantly, physical and mental health benefits of incorporating a little walking into your daily routine. 

What about your car? Is it an expensive model that costs a lot to insure and fill with gas? As popular and common as these cars once were they are slowly being phased out and replaced with more efficient and cost-effective models. Is now the time to trade in your motor for that more sensible and more efficient model? 

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