Do you ever feel that you could do with just a little extra cash each month? Maybe you’re left with very little after paying your essential expenses, or maybe you have your eye on something but can’t quite afford it yet. Either way, some more cash in your pocket would not be something to sniff at. But surely having more money means working more; getting an extra job or putting in some overtime? This doesn’t always have to be the case. ‘Unlocking’ the value in your current income is a way to keep more of what you earn for yourself, rather than paying it to various bills and other essential expenses. Making small changes to the way you spend money can mean huge differences in your disposable income each month – you’ll be surprised at what you can achieve when you make positive differences to your spending habits.
Use Loyalty Cards
If there are a few shops that you go to regularly, for your weekly food shop for instance, then it will probably be worth your while to sign up for their loyalty card scheme. Some shops give you points to spend on certain things, whereas others will give you a voucher or money off your next shop with them once you’ve reached a certain points balance. If the loyalty card is free, and doesn’t require you to spend more than you usually do, then it can be very beneficial. Your bank balance will look much healthier once you’re getting money off things that you would usually buy, or earning points which can go towards things like birthday presents for others or for family treats that you’d normally pay for out of your own pocket.
Think Twice Before Buying Anything
Before you make any purchases try to give yourself time to reconsider. Walk around the shop another couple of times and really think about whether what you’re about to spend is worth it. If it’s a large purchase, then give yourself 24 hours, particularly if you hadn’t planned to buy it first. This should save you money in the long term as you should make fewer purchases which ‘waste’ your money.
Leave Your Wallet at Home
Where possible, you should leave your wallet at home if you’re just popping out to a friend’s or going to work. Having money on you can mean that temptation wins over your rational thoughts, and you end up picking up snacks or items that you don’t really need. Leaving debit and credit cards behind and only taking your budgeted cash with you can also be useful.
Give Yourself an Allowance
After you get paid, you should work out how much money you’ve got left after paying your essentials. This money can then be split up into different amounts depending on what you need to do in the month ahead. For instance, if you need to budget for a friend’s birthday present, then set aside a certain amount for this and don’t overspend.