There is no time like the present to start saving money. Or, put another way, there is no time like the present to start spending money on what you need and stop spending money on what you don’t need. Scanning a critical eye over your financial situation will surely unearth some holes through which money is disappearing. Filling those holes is vital to ensuring you’re financially buoyant, rather than sinking in this grim age of Austerity.
Time to Take Stock
Financial sobriety is a vital ingredient to maintaining control of your life. Knowing what you need to live on and ensuring you keep within those boundaries will stop you straying in to debt and all the troubles it brings.
Understanding what you need to live on is vital. To do this, simply make a list of all your necessary outgoings, remembering to include things like entertainment, meals out and clothing; all of which are important in a balanced life. Now begin logging every purchase in a small notebook, or smartphone app. This will help you to see how much you are spending on each area of your life.
Where Can You Save Money?
Your spreadsheet will tell you where you are overspending. Could it be your favoured brand of toilet roll is verging on the indulgent? Are you spending too much at the pub? Could you find a cheaper restaurant to frequent? Is the cost your lunchtime sandwiches giving you a little tummy trouble? Would it upset you to know that your daily Starbucks costs you over £500 a year?
For all of these much loved habits, there is a solution:
- Buy yourself an Italian stovetop coffee maker and make your coffee at home. If you don’t know how, do a search on YouTube, where you’ll find plenty of ‘how-to’ videos.
- Make your own lunch. You’d be surprised at just how much healthier you can become when you control what you’re having for lunch, rather than paying for someone else’s idea of what’s tasty.
How Can I Make Money?
One of the best ways to ensure financial stability is to continue making money. Ask yourself what skills do you possess that could be turned in to a small enterprise? It doesn’t have to be a full-on operation; you can operate on an as-and-when-required basis if you also have more full-time commitments.
Can you build websites, or walk dogs for the busy professional? Would you be happy to help an immobile elderly person on a part time basis? Look around your community and see what can be done and can I charge a reasonable price for the service?
Casting you net further afield might bring you to medical testing for money. Companies like GSK Trials constantly require healthy volunteers to help in the never-ending quest for improved medications to combat disease. In exchange for your time, you can expect to be paid up to £2000. Volunteers are eligible for up to four trials a year, totalling a happy £8000 for just 8 weeks commitment.
No-one wants to be plagued by debts their whole life and to avoid it, financial sobriety coupled with a will to make some money where you can will keep you out of debt.
Picture – Howard Lake