How to boost Your Finances Further
- 16 Jun 2023
Financial troubles are the talk of the nation at the moment. High inflation rates have stubbornly remained, despite Bank of England assurances that they would fall sooner rather than later. Thus, the cost-of-living crisis continues well into its second year – with many of us still struggling to catch our own finances up to a new reality. What can you do to stretch your existing income that little bit further?
Curtailing Your Impulses
Before you make any big moves with regard to your finances, you should first reckon with your own relationship to spending. It is a well-heeled myth that struggling households are simply poor money managers; newspapers and TV programmes are rife with trite suggestions that Netflix subscriptions and avocados are responsible for financial shortfalls.
While there are more deep-seated reasons, many out of our control, for increased financial hardship, spending habits are nonetheless a great place to start – if only to create a financial buffer while you settle on longer-term solutions. With this in mind, you might crack down a little harder on your own impulsive spending, from last-minute snacks at the corner shop to impromptu retail-therapy Amazon Prime purchases.
Boosting Your Savings
Doing the above can help a little with regard to boosting your savings, particularly if you are an impulsive consumer. However, saving is a practice that requires much more thought than placing pennies in a virtual piggy bank.
If you work out exactly how much you have to spend each month, i.e.: on utilities, housing and basic groceries, you can calculate from your wages a rough maximum available amount to save. You could set a direct debit for a portion of this monthly capacity each month, ensuring a set amount is saved before it is spent. If you open a purpose-built vehicle for savings then you can benefit from higher rates of interest, further growing what you do save.
Setting aside a pre-set amount to save each month is not easy, particularly if your expenses fluctuate from month to month. This is where the power of the spreadsheet makes itself clear. In tracking all of your expenses across a series of months, you can review your spending patterns and isolate tricky expenses getting in the way of your savings goal. With this data, you can keep an eye on your outgoings and even eliminate some less-important ones.
Sniffing Out Deals
Maximising the effectiveness of your saving endeavours can be especially hard, particularly as you narrow down to scrimping and saving those last additional pennies. But the process can be well worth it, and even rewarding. The best way to approach this end of your savings plan is to make hunting for deals and discounts a game of sorts. Finding the most financially efficient way to buy groceries and fuel your car can save you up to hundreds each year.