Everyone goes through difficult times financially, and it can often be difficult to find a way out of that hole once you’re in it. The best thing to do is live within your means when times are good as well as when they’re bad. So, whether you’re feeling the financial strain or not, it makes sense to squeeze the most out of every penny.
For some people, living frugally is something they’ve never done before, and for others it’s something they’ve forced to do for a long time. It’s just about not throwing away money needlessly and making sure you’re getting everything you can out of your money. Here are some simple tips to help you squeeze the most out of every penny.
Next Time You Upgrade Your Car, Get an Economical One
The cost of fuel can be a big drag on household finances. Right now, fuel prices are relatively reasonable, but that could change again at any moment. If you’re spending too much on fuel, make sure your next car is more fuel efficient.
Of course, I’m not telling you to go out and buy a new car. But when you want an upgrade or your old car breaks down, make sure the new one will take you further on less fuel. When browsing cars, get the one with the most miles to the gallon. Or consider an electric one!
Save Up for a Rainy Day
It’s always a good idea to save money while you have the luxury of being able to do so. You’ll be grateful for that money you saved up if you fall upon hard times financially. Even saving up your change in a pot can be useful, it all adds up over time.
You might be tempted to spend your spare income on luxuries and treats when you’re feeling financially comfortable. This isn’t a way to security though. If there are any long-standing jobs that need money spending on them, do this while you have some spare money too.
Seek Out Vouchers and Offers
Different supermarkets have different offers on each week. So, make sure you compare prices on the foods you buy regularly to make sure you’re getting your food at the cheapest prices possible. You could buy your food from different shops each week. Also, look out for vouchers that offer money off products.
There are a lot of websites you can go to and get vouchers from if you look carefully. You should also think about buying own brand products, a lot of them are no worse than the more expensive stuff!
Don’t Leave Electricals On
Our energy bills make up for a large chunk of every household’s expenditure each month. We’ve all had that dreaded moment when we open the bill and stand in shock at the figure staring back at us. To avoid that feeling, try to do everything you can to cut down on your energy usage.
The easiest way to do this is by turning off lights and appliances that aren’t being used. You should also compare energy deals and make sure you’re on the right tariff. You might be missing out on a better deal elsewhere.
Give Up Smoking and Other Expensive Habits
Everyone has their indulgences, but how much do yours cost you? If you’re a smoker, you will be spending a lot of money on maintaining your habit. Smoking not only hurts your health, but also hurts your bank account.
When you have some spare time, add up how much you spent on cigarettes each month. If you’ve never worked it out before, you might be shocked by what you discover. Give up smoking and other expensive habits, and you’ll save a lot of cash!
Plan Your Expenditure in Advance
It’s a lot easier to stay on top of your finances if you have your monthly expenditure planned out as far in advance (and in as much detail) as possible. Of course, there are always unforeseen expenses to take care of, but plan out the other stuff as much as you can.
It’s usually best to avoid debt where you can too. But sometimes it can help you out if there’s something that needs doing but requires a lot of cash. Use a loan calculator and be sure you can afford the repayments before you go ahead though.
Find Innovative Ways to Raise Extra Cash
We all need a bit of extra cash to help us through the month from time to time. If you have some old items that you no longer want or need, think about selling them to raise some money. Online auction sites are now very quick and easy to use so take advantage of them.
There are loads of other ways to make a bit of money though. If you have a spare room, consider taking on a lodger, that way you’ll have a bit of extra cash each month. Or if you live near a train station or sports stadium, consider renting out your driveway for people to park on.
Borrow and Recycle
Buying items new is a sure-fire way to waste a lot of money. You could be using that money on your essentials or saving it for the future. To avoid throwing the money away, try to recycle and borrow all the items you can. Upcycling is very fashionable at the moment. Only throw an item away if it has no possible use.
Borrowing items from friends and family is also a great idea. If you know someone who has an item you need, see if they’ll let you borrow it. And let them borrow from you. If you have a baby on the way, this can be especially useful. Friends will be more than willing to give you old baby clothes.
Trying to save money is never a great deal of fun, but it’s something that needs to be done when things are tight. And if you want to avoid financial problems in the future, it’s worth employing some of these simple tips to make sure you’re in a secure situation.