Everybody is looking to maximise earnings and minimise spending in order to have that little bit more to spend on the treats life has to offer. As we enter the new financial year, here are five top money tips to help you on your way.
Save on everyday costs
No matter how thrifty you are, there are some expenses you just can't avoid. Everyday costs such as utility bills, internet and phone line are necessities for most households, but that doesn't mean they should cost the earth. Because these things are in demand, there's a lot of competition for customers. Consider switching energy and communications providers at the end of every contract; surprisingly, there are more offers available for new customers than those who stay loyal to one company. There are a huge range of different comparison tools available, and many of them can be revealed with a simple Google search.
Take care of your stuff
What if your home burned down tomorrow? What if somebody broke in and stole your most expensive possessions? You might think of these kind of unexpected disasters as unlikely, but they happen all over the UK every year. It's very important to have a contingency plan in case the worst happens. The best way you can do this is by insuring your property and belongings against theft, fire and other potential damages. Start off your financial year right and get your stuff insured. Endsleigh have great offers on home insurance at the moment.
Handle your debt
Whether it's student loans, a mortgage, credit cards or a bank overdraft, everybody has debt of some kind. It's nothing to be ashamed of, but it's important to stay on top of it. By making sure your debt is in the right place, you can save a substantial amount of money on paying it back. Every month, credit card companies offer competitive balance transfers. It's possible to re-mortgage to save money in the long run. Often a credit card is a better place for debt than a bank overdraft. A student loan is based on repayments in accordance with your earnings - so if you have debt anywhere else, it's almost never beneficial to pay this back quicker during a good month.
Be tax savvy
For many people, tax is just an unfortunate little something that appears on your payslip at the end of each month. By dedicating some time to tax research though, you might find you can save a lot of money on your tax bill each year. If you have more than one job or a profitable hobby, self-assessment might be the best bet, allowing you more control over how and when you're taxed. If you find you've been overtaxed or paid too much national insurance in previous years, it's possible to claim it back for up to five years afterwards - either in reductions on your next year of earnings or as a lump sum.
Having money isn't all about restricting your spending; there are lots of ways to can generate extra funds by flexing your creative muscles. Communities like eBay, Gumtree and Facebook groups are the perfect place to sell things you don't need anymore. Have a spring clean and have a good sort out at home. Not only is this a great opportunity to refresh your surroundings, but you'll find lots of old junk to sell for some extra pocket money. eBay often has free listings weekends where it's free to place an advert and most categories on Gumtree are constantly free. Bigger items should be sold locally if possible; smaller items can be mailed anywhere in the world, and the buyer pays the postage. Go on then, get started!