We’ve all been there……looking at an empty bank account, a bare cupboard and a full 10 days until payday. Suddenly, that spending spree at the beginning of the month isn’t looking quite so clever. Another month where good intentions have gone out the window, and you are looking at a very boring, not to mention stressful, time trying to make ends meet. So just how can we make our money last all month, while still having the occasional treat?
The first thing to realise is that you are not alone. Almost ten million people in the UK struggle to make their wages last through the month - that is a third of all working adults. The majority of these (43%), cited that there just wasn’t enough left over after all the essential bills have been paid, but nearly as many (31%) admitted that post payday splurging, or spending without realising, were the primary reasons that there wasn’t enough money left at the end of the month.
Here are three ways to help your money go further this month:
- Have a look at your Direct Debits. Are you paying for things you aren’t using? Sit down for half an hour to go through all of your DD’s and cancel any that are no longer relevant. You might be amazed at how much you can save each month with this simple tip. Life is busy, and there are a million things to do – keeping on top of your DD’s is not usually high on our list of priorities, but it could end up saving you a lot of money. Paying for Credit Reports or out of date TV plans can really suck through your paycheque. Make sure you are only paying for what you are actually using.
- Work out how much money you have to live on and take it out in cash. Using cash for your purchases can really help focus your mind and help you live more frugally. If you only have £10 to last until Tuesday, you are not going to waste it on non-essential items like a takeaway.
- Have a look at your bills, particularly Utilities and Insurance. Shopping around can save you a LOT of money. Don’t feel you have to stick with the same providers, just because you have done it for years. It is a very competitive market out there and many companies are making it easier to switch. Some insurance quotes cost £100’s more than others. If you have done some preliminary research online and have found a few companies you like the look of, pick up the phone and have a conversation – you may be pleasantly surprised.
Running out of money before the end of the month is a huge problem for many in the UK. If you are relying on credit cards or loans just to get through the month, it may be a sign that you need an urgent financial overhaul to get back in control of your finances. Borrowing money is not the best way to get out of trouble but taking a financial health check is a great place to start to get back in control. Next month, maybe you will be better prepared.