There aren’t many people who would say that they don’t wish they had a bit more money, with the exception of the likes of Bill Gates, perhaps. However, while we all work to earn more, get promoted, or even get a job at all – we are forced to make do with what we have. The answer then, in the short term at least, is in making the money you do have go that bit further. So, to help you make it through the month with some money in your pocket, here are five simple tips for making your money do more.
Before you can make your money go further you need to work out what you have coming in, and what you need to spend. You may budget weekly or monthly, but however you organise your money, it is worth knowing your outgoings vs. your income. Make a list of everything that you spend your money on. You may want to note down everything you spend your money on over the course of a month – including grabbing a sandwich or coffee while you are out. From here you can work out those items that you simply have to pay for (bus fare to work for example), and offset it against what you have coming in. This will form the basis of your budget.
2. Cut Back
Now that you know where your money is going each week or month, you can start to work out where you can make some savings. Could you, for example take a packed lunch rather than going out and buying food every day? Don’t be too harsh on yourself, as you need to have some treats and highlights in your life, but you will almost certainly see areas for improvement within your budget.
3. Shop Around
Shopping around for the best deal on something you want is a great way to save some money. Looking online for something rather than just picking it up in the first shop you come across on the high street is a good tip. Be sure to look out for money-off deals and two-for-one offers, but don’t be tempted to take them up unless you genuinely wanted two of something. When it comes to buying things like CDs, could you, for example get them second-hand rather than buying them new for yourself? Especially if you are just going to upload them to your MP3 player or mobile?
4. Wait Before You Buy
In addition to shopping around for the best deals, many people like to wait before making a purchase – especially for bigger buys. This ‘cooling off’ period allows you to think if you really want to spend your money on something – or if you were just caught up in the excitement of shopping. For example, why not use Amazon’s ‘Save For Later’ option rather than going straight to the checkout – this will give you time to consider if you really wanted to buy something, or if it was, instead just a momentary whim. This waiting period also gives you time to look for a better deal as per point three, above!
5. Save – Don’t Borrow
This is less to do with shopping, but more to do with how you manage your money. It is always better to save up to buy something rather than borrowing the money. When you borrow money you are not only mortgaging your future income against something you bought today, but also will end up paying more for that item once interest is taken into account. It may be tempting to pull out a credit card and walk out with a new outfit, but ultimately you will end up paying more – which is certainly against the ethos of making your money go further.