Three Ways To Live Below Your Means

Living below your means can seem impossible sometimes, especially if you are already struggling to make ends meet, but spending more than what you can afford regularly will eventually lead to financial ruin if you aren’t careful.

If you are fed up with continually trying to keep up with your monthly credit card bills, increasing debt, and lack of financial breathing space, use these three tips to help you start your journey to improve your finances by living below your means.

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Stick to your budget

To successfully live below your means, you need to have a budget in place; otherwise, you will keep overspending. A budget is vital to ensure success and will give you an accurate picture of your monthly cash flow. Once you can see the whole picture, you can then focus on your weak spots and areas for improvement to help you save as much money as possible and get out of debt. Doing this will help you to identify habits that you need to change and where you are wasting your money. Make sure to do a new budget at the beginning of every month, either in a dedicated planner or an Excel spreadsheet, and aim to stick to it. Just leave a little bit of wiggle room for those last-minute surprises that life inevitably throws at us from time to time. Remember that your budget is very individual and will differ from everyone else’s, the most important thing is that it works for you. If you find that realistically your budget doesn’t work in the first month, then that’s also fine – you can always go back and tweak it, but having a budget, even if not perfect straight away, will stop you from mindlessly spending money allowing you to save more.

Make more money

If you have budgeted as much as possible, and find that you are still struggling and feeling deprived, then it might be time to start thinking of ways to increase your income. Easier said than done? Of course. But there are also many money-making opportunities out there if you are willing to look around and work hard enough. In an era where just about everyone has a side hustle, there are plenty of part-time, freelance jobs that you can easily do in your spare time on evenings and weekends, and many from the comfort of your own home. The trick is to simply get started, keep persevering, and take every opportunity you can. If you don’t want to work for someone else, why not start your own business on the side instead and look into starting your own blog or promoting your skills and becoming a freelancer? This will help you to save more and live below your means a little easier, meaning that you are more likely to stick to this new way of living.

Don’t spend more just because you earn more

Should you be successful in finding ways of making an extra income, then congratulations! Just make sure that you don’t fall victim to the vicious cycle of spending more now that you are earning more. It might be tempting to go after lusted-over purchases now that you have some extra money, but remember what your overall goal is. Instead of using your extra income on mindless spending, start using it to pay off current debts and add to your savings. Regardless of how much you earn, if you elevate your lifestyle every time you get a pay rise, you will never gain control over your finances, and you’ll always be living in debt. If you are struggling with severe debts and don’t know how to deal with them, reaching out for professional help from specialists such as gaining a DTSS Membership is a great first step to finally gain control over your finances. Living below your means is challenging, yes, but think about why you’ve boosted your income, all of the progress you’ve made in the first place and the financial freedom that you are ultimately trying to achieve.

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Why You May Have More Money Than You Realize

Of all things that can cause stress, none are quite like our money situation. The problem with finance-related problems (or even just worries) is that it seems like they rarely, if ever, go away; it’s an all-consuming issue. However, while there aren’t any magic bullets when it comes to solving these issues, there is something that could help: you may have more money than you think you do. A lot of this will be wrapped up in untapped sources. We’ll take a look at how to reveal that cash below.

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In the Drawers

Most of us are guilty of buying more stuff than we really need. We buy and buy and buy, to the point where our homes are overflowing with things that we don’t necessarily need (or even want). Take a look in your drawers, and you might just find that you have many goods that you could sell for a significant amount. Go through, figure out the items that you don’t need, and then look at listing them online for sale. Within a week or so, you might have earned the equivalent of a month’s pay.

What You’re Owed

We tend to think that the only source of cash is through our jobs, but that’s not really the case. There’s a lot of money in the world, and some of it may be owed to you. For example, if you were injured and it wasn’t your fault, then you may be entitled to financial compensation. However, it’s not as if that money will automatically come your way: you have to fight for it. The best personal injury lawyer can help you to get the money that’s rightfully yours. You will also want to see if there are any tax credits or other state money that you’re entitled to.

Daily Expenses

If you’re one of those people that reaches the end of the month and always thinks, ‘where does all my money go?’ then it’s worthwhile digging a little deeper, and seeing where exactly your money goes. For example, many of us spend more money than we realize on things like coffee and takeout food. Individually, these things don’t cost too much — but collectively, they can add up to a pretty penny. Just by cutting down on these expenses, you’ll find that you have a lot more money in your bank account.

Putting Your Assets to Work

It could be that you’re actually fairly wealthy — it’s just all your financial worth is tied up in your home or car. If you want more cash in your life, then put these assets to work. You could rent out a room in your house, for example, or offer rides in your car (such as to work).

Earning Potential

Finally, take a look at your earning potential. If you’re currently underpaid, then you’re more valuable than you’re currently being paid. If that’s the case, talk to your boss about getting a raise — if you’re worth it, they’ll give it. You can only ask!

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Life Hacks That Will Save You Money

Everybody wants to save more money. Whether you’re saving up for a vacation or want to build up your savings for retirement, saving money is important to everyone. It can seem difficult to save money if you feel like you’ll have to go without things. With these life hacks, you can save money without feeling like you’re going without.

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      1. Speak to a financial advisor. They can help you to look over your finances and help you spot areas where you could better manage your money. Whether you’re overpaying on your mortgage or have debts to handle, they can assist you with sensible solutions to make you better able to save.

      2. Clear your browser history. Shopping online can very tempting when you’re trying to save money. After browsing online, clear your cache and browser history. Online companies use cookies to follow your progress around the internet and will show you the products you’ve looked at in adverts, tempting you to go back and buy.

      3. Turn down the brightness on the screens of your TV and computer. This is not only better for your eye health, but it can also save you a lot of money. Lowering the brightness from the default can really reduce the amount of energy you use, which is much cheaper. The default brightness is meant to make the screens look their best in a store under fluorescent lighting. You don’t need it this bright in the lounge.

      4. Carry large bills. Many people find that paying in cash instead of using cards makes you less likely to overspend. This is because you can see what you’re spending. If you carry large bills, you won’t want to break it, which can save you from making impulse purchases that you don’t actually particularly want.

      5. Build your credit. Whether your credit is good, bad, or middling, you can still do more to build it up. Credit is used to determine your rate on loans and is also used by utility and insurance companies to decide on your monthly premium. A good score could save you a lot of money on the bills.

      6. Make big purchases at the end of the month. Sales representatives, whether they’re selling cars or washing machines, will have a monthly quota to meet. If you need to make a large purchase, try and wait until the end of the month. If the salesperson has had a bad month, they may be open to giving you a generous discount in order to secure a sale and meet their targets.

      7. Paint your roof white. Painting the roof sounds strange but could potentially be a big saving. Roofs are usually a dark shade, but dark colors absorb more heat. In the summer, this means you’ll have to crank up the air conditioning to keep the house cool. With a white roof, this doesn’t happen.

      8. Brew your own coffee. Takeaway coffee can be a pricey treat, especially if you buy it most days. Instead, treat yourself to some quality coffee that you can brew at home. Even with a more expensive brand, it’ll be cheaper than coffee shop drinks. If you do buy takeout coffee, take your own reusable mug. Many shops now offer a discount if you don’t need a disposable cup.
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How To Enjoy A Happy Retirement

Have you ever wondered what your life will look like after retiring? Do the thoughts worry or excite you? Your answer may be dependent on how prepared you are for retirement. Retirement is not something to push back until we start growing old.

Some people end up with either little or no retirement plans at all. In fact, experts have suggested a retirement crisis where most Americans will not be able to live a ‘solid life’ after retiring. So, how do you ensure that you do fall within the retirement crisis group? Hopefully, the following tips will help.

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Save Early
The first thing you need to start doing is to start saving early and often. Look for retirement savings account options, sign up, and start saving as soon as possible. There is no right time to start saving. In fact, some experts have advised that children are taught the habit of saving at a very young age so they can grow up with it. The earlier you begin to save, the greater the value of your savings will be when you finally retire.

Balance Investments
Don’t get it wrong; investments are not the same as savings. Savings take a number of forms such as treasury bills, certificates of, savings accounts, etc. These are usually very safe as well as liquid. As a result, they are always available to us whenever we need them.
Investments, on the other hand, come in the form of assets that are expected to yield returns in the long-term on a yearly basis. Investments come in different forms that include purchasing of stocks, real estate, trading in gold, art collection, etc.

Because retirement funds are for future use, many people choose to use them to acquire investments. Experienced investors opt for diversity in terms of the number of assets to avoid certain losses. Thus balancing investments allows for the selection of certain securities that will ensure that a loss in one investment is canceled by a gain in another.

Maximize Tax Advantage
Currently, there are enough opportunities for diligent Americans to lower their tax liabilities through credits and retirement plans. This is all thanks to the federal tax code. There are even savers’ tax credits available for people who 401 k or IRA contributions. Indeed, there have been several considerations about the possibilities of one person having multiple 401k accounts.

Control Spending
Unnecessary spending is gradually becoming a part of most Americans, as countless companies and advertising agencies encourage consumers to spend on things they do not need. This situation is not helped by the availability of easy credit that is behind the habit of instant gratification. Thus, anyone who is seriously interested in enjoying retirement should seriously consider cutting back on unnecessary spending. That is, do not spend money on things you do not really need.

Stay Healthy
It is better to enjoy your retirement in good health. Age-related health issues are one of the main reasons why most people do not enjoy their retirement. You do not need to wait until it’s too late to start living healthy. Start now. Exercise often, eat healthy, get enough rest, and drink loads of water. Your future depends on it.

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The Best Ideas To Get Your Household Budget Back On Track

It can be hard to handle the household financial budget. There are always bills leaving your account and unexpected spending that you need to do. Which is why we can all face problems and let our finances get a little out of control sometimes. However, with a few tips and savvy ideas implemented, you can get your household budget back on track. With that in mind, here are some suggestions to help you do it.

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Take a look at your current budgets

One of the main issues could be hiding in your current budgeting situation and the bills you pay. So take some time out to analyse your bank statements and look at what goes out each day and what comes in. You will be surprised by how many times you go to the food store, or even bills that you thought were canceled still leaving your account. Just doing this exercise alone can help you make some valuable savings to your income.

Are you entitled to any additional aid?

Some people are just not able to work as much as they would like, or simply can’t get in to do the job they once did due to a disability. These situations can often leave you struggling to make ends meet. There are often cases where people didn’t realise they are entitled to some financial aid, that could help you sort your finances out. This can also be researched and explored when it comes to debts. Getting help to enable you to clear things off and get more stability with your finances.

Could you save money by switching providers for your common bills

Sometimes we can find ourselves sticking with the same supplier of household bills for things like energy and insurance products. However, sticking with the same companies doesn’t always mean we are paying the best rates. Which is why switching them over to new companies could provide you with huge savings. This works with things like energy, buildings or contents insurance, or even mobile phone and broadband providers. You could also explore websites such as Prepaid Bill which could help you to see where a change of the way you make payments for certain bills like a phone bill could help you to make some savings. How much money could you save yourself each month?

Think about ways to save on your spending

Sometimes we have control over some of our outgoings like buying food, for example. However, this sort of spending can be reduced if you implement different habits such as meal planning, batch cooking, or simply writing a list before you head to the store. Other things that need to be bought can be children’s clothes or even spending for birthdays and Christmas. Consider using discount codes or coupons to reduce your outlay and bring the overall cost down.

Could you improve your situation in other ways?

Finally, there may be other ways to improve your situation financially. You could consider a different job role with better financial opportunity. You could even think about ways to make money online or in your spare time. There are many ways you can boost your income, but one of the biggest places to start is on your current habits and outgoings.

Let’s hope these tips help you to get your household budget back on track.

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Investing Even When You Have No Cash

Many investing gurus talk about how recessions are the best time to invest. Currencies are in freefall, and stocks are in decline, providing ample opportunities to pick up a bargain.

But there’s a problem with this idea. It assumes that you have cash available.

“Buying the dip” is one of the great ironies of investing. Right at the moment when assets are at their cheapest, you don’t have money in your bank to snap them up. You want to take advantage of the low prices, but you can’t. It seems like you have to bite the bullet and watch the opportunity pass you by.

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But do you?

In this post, we’re going to take a look at all the ways that you can invest if you have no cash. Some of these are high-risk strategies, so consider yourself warned. Also, this does not constitute advice. It is merely some thoughts on how you might make money when your bank account is relatively empty.

Bet The House

If you have a mortgage and a house, then it is likely that you have built up a considerable amount of equity. One option, therefore, is to go to the bank and take out an equity release plan. You can then use this freed-up cash to invest in other assets that are on sale right now, such as stocks. Remember, it is likely that stocks will recover faster and further than house prices in the coming months and years. So, by the end of the process, you should be in a much better position financially.

Lever Up Your Forex Account

Even if you don’t have much money in your forex account, you can always approach your forex broker and ask for leverage.

The concept here is simple. You borrow money to take advantage of opportunities in the market, and then you pay it back out of your winnings. The idea, therefore, is similar to equity release, except here the loan is unsecured. The organization managing your trading account sends you extra cash. You then attempt to make money on the foreign exchange markets. And then when you do, you pay them back.

Of course, if you decide to go down this route, you need to understand what you’re doing. If you don’t, then you could see the value of your investment fall, making it more challenging to pay back the original loan. If, however, you have a track record making money on the currency markets, then, by all means, lever up. It could amplify your returns.

Buy Part-Shares

Buying a single Google or Amazon share is expensive. Just one slice of the pie can cost you more than a thousand dollars. A lot of people just don’t have that kind of cash lying around.

Now, though, you can buy these stocks via a third party. That organization buys up a bunch of shares and then sells ownership rights to part of them. When you issue a sell order, they give you “fair value” by selling out of cash reserves or liquidating their holdings.

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