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How to stop spending money

Many people are spending less at the moment due to staying at home, but if you’re keen to curb your outgoings even further, see our top tips here Perhaps you’ve had a change in your financial situation, or you’re just trying to better manage your money. Whether you’re working right now or not, these easy-to-follow tips should help limit your outgoings and give you more leftover at the end of the month. Luckily, self-isolating by its very nature should lessen our everyday expenses such as travel costs and nipping to a restaurant, shopping centre or bar. And while it's undeniably a tough time, could you salvage some good from this situation? It could be a perfect opportunity to establish some solid spending habits to make you better with your finances moving forward. These tips are there to help you spend less during self-isolation, but the techniques work just as well during normal life. Set up a budget If you view every purchase in separately, it's easy to slip into a pattern of overspending. The odd £10 here and there on magazines and snacks for a long train journey, £40 on a bargain in the sales; suddenly these extras can add up. Budgeting should restrict this as much as possible. If you work out exactly how much you need to spend each month on specific things (food and drink, utility bills, entertainment etc.), then you should view each purchase in these areas with this inline. Then you can make a straightforward financial decision, such as ordering a takeaway on a Friday night, based on your previous spending. If you're over, you'll know to cut back, but if you've done well, you can treat yourself, safe in the knowledge you're still within budget. Put all extra cash in a savings account If you find you have extra cash in your current account, try moving it to an easy access savings account. You'll still be able to get the money quickly, but moving it will make it harder to spend - especially if you regularly check your balance before making a purchase. Cut back on food and drink overspending It's easy to reach for the snacks if you’re stuck inside all day, as well as drink more alcohol in the evenings. Both are surefire ways of spending more, especially if you're prone to an online shopping splurge when you've had a tipple. You can use your time to cook large meals in bulk to keep costs down, freezing the leftovers or eating the next day. Check out 10 ways to eat well on a budget for some inspiration on healthy eating on the cheap. Work out how much it costs you in work time It's often harder to spend money when you think about how long it's taken you to earn it. What's your hourly rate? Even if you're salaried an annual figure, you should be able to work out a rough value by multiplying your weekly hours by 52 and then dividing your salary by that number. Say it's £15, if you want to buy something for £100 that's slightly less than seven hours work, so almost a full working day. Is what you're buying worth it? Have some days where you spend absolutely nothing Every day you spend money. The gas and electricity you use at home, the food you eat, it all consumes money you have to pay - but the transactions themselves take place on another day. So could you have days where you don't actually spend any cash? If you allocate one day a week where there's no spending at all, you should slowly cut out impulse buys. And it can end up being more than one day, starting as Tuesday before being Tuesday and Thursday, and then eventually alternating between a day of spending and a day of none. Save instead It sounds simple, but could you move money you are about to spend into a savings pot instead? Say you have spied something you want to buy while browsing online. If you transfer the money you would have spent into a savings account, then wait until the following day to see if you still really want it. If you can say no, do it, and you'll notice the total of your savings getting bigger and bigger. This will get progressively more and more inspiring; the more considerable sum saved, the easier it is to keep topping that up and appreciate the benefits of being thrifty. Cut costs on home improvements Technically, improving your house is spending money, but can you use the time inside in a creative and, more importantly, cheap fashion? Upcycling old furniture you were planning to replace is one way. And could you use an old wooden pallet to make a garden bench? There's probably an abundance of ideas of updating your home on the cheap while you are self-isolating. Make a note of all the work you need doing and google to see if there is a cost-effective way of doing it yourself. Go through all your direct debits When going through statements, check what you're spending, and find anything you could cancel (i.e. you're not tied into a contract). Then ask yourself two questions. First, do you need it? If the answer is yes, then can you find a cheaper alternative? Only keep the stuff you need that you can't find cheaper elsewhere. Everything else is expendable expenditure; so get rid. Article sourced from Ocean Finance - https://www.oceanfinance.co.uk/blog/how-to-stop-spending-money-at-the-moment/

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21 Apr 2020

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