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Money worries are one of the most significant and widespread sources of stress and anxiety among UK adults. If you’re in the red, you’re not alone, but this probably doesn’t come as much comfort if you’ve got bills to pay and a house to run. If you’re looking to tip the balance in your favour and reduce your outgoings and boost your income, this guide should come in handy.

Lowering your outgoings

Be honest. Do you know where your money goes every month, or are you baffled when you check your balance and the figures are much lower than you anticipated? It can be very difficult to keep track of what you spend, especially in an age where many of us shop online or tap a card on a reader to buy the items we need. If you tend to get an unpleasant surprise when you check your bank account, it’s wise to draw up a budget and try to lower your outgoings. It’s very simple to create a monthly budget, and once you’re up and running, you should find that it has a really positive impact on your ability to save. Use your budget to analyse where your money goes. From here, you can take steps to reduce spending.

Many of us spend a large proportion of our income on household bills and general living costs. Although these expenses are essentials, there is almost always a means of bringing these costs down. Start by taking control of how much you spend on your weekly food shop, checking your insurance policies to see if you could save by switching to a different provider, and looking around for better deals on TV, broadband, gas, and electricity. Use online comparison sites to compare offers. You may be surprised at how much you could trim off your monthly budget< in a matter of minutes. Once you’ve done this, think about how much you spend on going out or other luxury items, such as shopping, weekends away, gifts, and holidays. If you love to socialise, but you can’t afford to go to restaurants all the time, for example, host dinner parties at home instead. Other affordable activities include movie nights, trips to the beach or the park and outdoor pursuits like walking, kayaking, and cycling.

Increasing your income

If you have a full-time job, you might be thinking that it’s impossible to boost your income without devoting every spare hour you have to overtime. Nobody wants to spend their entire life working, and we all need some downtime. The good news is that there are lots of ways of adding to your salary without giving up all your free time. One increasingly popular option for those looking to earn more is to make money online. The Internet offers a wealth of opportunities from taking part in paid surveys and getting involved in affiliate marketing schemes to selling stuff online and signing up with a phone casino. Clearing out your home and completing questionnaires might not make you a millionaire overnight, but every penny helps.

If you have a talent, for example, writing, the Internet can also give you a platform to use your skills to earn more. Blogging is a hobby for many people, but it can also be lucrative if you use your blog to advertise or promote products or other sites. Other popular side hustle options include selling homemade items such as cakes, knitted toys and greeting cards, offering private tuition in music, maths and languages, and offering to do household jobs for neighbours. Use your skill set and your interests to come up with ideas, and take inspiration from people who have set up businesses based on a passion or a hobby.

If you own a house, you could also consider using the space you have available to boost your savings. If you’ve got a parking space you don’t use during the day, or you have spare rooms, for example, you could consider renting them out in return for a monthly payment.

If you spend more than you make, or you’re on a mission to move from the red to the black, there are multiple ways you can try and tip the financial balance in your favour. Focus on cutting costs and eliminating unnecessary expenses, look for ways you can add to your income and use a budget to control spending and keep an eye on your balance. Even the simplest changes can make a huge difference over a period of time.