Anna Preston

Shockingly simple tips to make your money go further

Smart moves to live your best life.

When you’re planning for a financial goal or looking to make some serious changes in your life, having a fixed income can be challenging. If you know that you can’t earn any more than you currently do then there are still steps that you can take to make your money go further so that you can create the life that you want.

Be a “no” person

Well, not in every aspect of life, but when it comes to spending at least. Start learning to say no to yourself when you feel the urge to impulse spend and leave your credit cards at home. You’ll be surprised how much further your monthly pay cheque will go when you’re not reducing it little by little with unplanned purchases.

Plan what you eat

Meal planning makes you more efficient with what you spend, as well as what you consume. So you might make a roast on a Sunday and then use the meat for sandwich fillings the next day and leftover vegetables for a fried hash in the evening. Or you might buy vegetables to use in a stir fry one evening and the next day turn the leftovers into a soup. Planning ahead reduces what you waste. The less you waste, the less you have to buy and the longer your money will last.

Become more active

Whether you’re paying the cost of petrol or fares for the train or the bus, transport can quickly chip away at a monthly budget. If you want to make the monthly income you have go further then reducing what you have to spend to get around can make a big difference. Walk instead of driving a couple of times a week, skip the bus and jog home or invest in a bike – once you’ve paid for the cost of the bike all your transport after that is free.

Reduce what you’re paying in interest

If you have debt that is eating up your cash in terms of interest and costs then it might be worth looking for a better deal, according to Solution Loans. If you used to have a poor credit score and have any loans for people with bad credit then you will be paying a higher rate of interest than normal. But your credit score could have improved and you might get a better deal now by switching lender.

Or a large credit card balance on a standard rate could be transferred to a 0% credit card, for example, and will save you making interest payments as you clear the debt and reduce the impact on your available money. If this isn't an option, what about asking parents to be guarantors – maybe with a guarantor loan if they don't actually have the cash to spare but have a good credit history. Again this could reduce the interest you are paying making it easier to reduce your debt quickly.

Make savings on the bills you have to pay

You can reduce your spend on the things you have to pay for every month by shopping around for better deals. For example, you could compare energy providers to see if you can pay less for your electricity and gas. It’s possible to save on all of the regular bills that you have to pay, from insurance through to energy, so that your budget has more space in it.

Get smart socially

Catching up with friends doesn’t have to be over an expensive meal with lots of booze. Have supper clubs where you cook for each other at home instead, or go for a weekend walk instead of an expensive lunch. Find restaurants where you can bring your own alcohol or just opt for a coffee and a long chat.

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