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13August

How to make your cash go further

Written by Fiona Saul Posted in Financial Planning

How to make your cash go further

Do you hate it when you really need money, but your wallet is empty? No matter how little or how much money you have, spending it wisely is a good idea; it enables you to get the most bang for your buck.

If you’ve ever heard the advice, “never go to the supermarket without a list or when you’re hungry,” chances are you know why: you’re likely to buy more than you need and spend more, too. Regardless of where you’re shopping and how you pay for your purchases, remember to:

•Begin with a budget - A budget is a road map that guides you and tells you when you are on course. Budgeting won't ensure prosperity, but it will keep you from overspending your resources and will help you avoid the debt trap

•Pay bills on time - Establish a budget that allows you to pay all your bills in full and on time each month. If you can't pay them all, pay something on all of them and communicate your intentions of paying everything to those you owe. 

•Pay with cash – Having cash in hand can get you much farther than paying for things with a credit card. Most people do not pay off their credit cards each month so something you thought was only going to cost you £100 could end up costing you double or triple once you factor in interest charges. Using spending cash to pay for things like entertainment help to ensure you are within your budget because once cash is gone, it’s gone! It forces you to spend your money wisely and think about what you are buying.

•Go online - Check out websites that compare prices. If you decide to buy from an online merchant, keep shipping costs and delivery time in mind.

•Keep track of your spending - Incidental and impulse purchases add up. Jotting down what you spend after every purchase helps keep you mindful of your limits. At least once a month, use credit card, checking, and other records to review what you’ve bought. Then ask yourself if it makes sense to reallocate some of this spending to an emergency savings account.

•Look for price matching policies - Some merchants will match, or even beat, a competitor’s prices.

•Avoid impulse purchases -  If planning your purchases in advance is a good idea, buying something on the spur of the moment is a terrible one. 

•Try using a "pay as you go" mobile phone, instead of having a home phone with long distance. Pay as you go can keep you from making any long distance calls on a whim and running up your phone bill.Try walking, using public transport or using a bicycle to cut fuel costs. Driving a car can be expensive, particularly when you add in the cost of insurance.

It isn't always easy to save money. Unfortunately, many people live paycheck to paycheck without any savings. With the above strategies and techniques you can start saving some money for the future

About the Author

Fiona Saul

Fiona is a Tutor at our King's Lynn hub.

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