Are you feeling the pinch? Do you hold your breath when you check your bank balance at the ATM? With Christmas only a few months away, are you panicking about how you are going to get through the holidays without going completely bankrupt?
Raising a family is a seriously expensive business and we could all benefit from saving a few extra pennies where we can. If you are looking for ways to save money and make a little bit of extra dollar too then I hope you find this post helpful. I have put together a list of 5 ways to save money and 5 ways to make a bit of extra money too. So, get reading and start planning what you’re going to do with all that extra cash.
5 ways to save money
1. Meal plan – Planning what you are going to eat for the week in advance is a little bit boring but your bank balance will definitely thank you. I write a list of meals for the week and then write my shopping list, only including items to make those meals. As well as our evening meal I also try to plan breakfast and lunches too to help you really keep costs down and avoid any food wastage at the end of the week. Doing one weekly shop in a supermarket stops you from panicking at 4pm on a weekday and wasting money on food from the corner shop which is often more expensive. If you do this every day the money soon starts to add up and you are wasting valuable pennies on food when you just don’t need to. So, yes, meal planning isn’t the most exciting thing but it’s a great way to save money.
2. Get on Online – If you are looking to buy something as a gift or for yourself, check online before you head to the high street. Often you can find products cheaper online, or you can find voucher codes, and online shopping let’s you see exactly what you’re spending. When I go to the shops to buy clothes I often just pile it all into my basket and then end up having a mini breakdown at the till when I have to pay. When shopping online I can see my total totting up in the basket and, more often than not, I end up removing those impulse buys from the basket before checking out anyway. Sites like eBay and Gumtree are great for finding bargains on all sorts of things, most are second hand but you can find lots of brand new things too. When trying to save money, online shopping should become your new best friend.
3. Shop around – This applies for everything: food, clothes, car insurance, bills – the works! You’ve all heard of price comparison websites, right? They are a really handy tool to have in your money saving tool box as they can help you cut so many different costs. Whether your car insurance is up for renewal or you need to splash out on a new tv, have a browse through price comparison websites to see where you can get the best deal. Also, don’t get stuck in a rut always buying your food shopping from a big name supermarket, we have saved a small fortune from moving to Aldi and Lidl to do our weekly shop and the food is just as good.
4. Don’t say no to hand me downs – Being picky over accepting and buying second hand is not something you can afford if you are hoping to save money. For example, buying second hand can really help you keep costs down when shopping for a new baby if you are pregnant. You can find second hand items online or you can peruse your local charity shop for some bargains and I bet you have friends and family with things they no longer want and would gladly pass on to you. Seek out your local car boot and table top sales and see if you can find something you were looking to buy for a massively reduced price. One persons trash is another persons treasure after all.
5. Cancel unused subscriptions – Have a Netflix account but not watched anything since you binge watched Breaking Bad back in 2012? Paying for insurance on a phone you don’t even own any more? Paying for all the channels from your tv provider but only watch 4 that you could get for free any way? Having a good route around through your monthly outgoings and cancelling the things you don’t use anymore can really help you save money every month. If you can’t bear to part with your tv package or phone contract completely, a sneaky little tip is to phone customer services saying you want to leave and, usually, they will reduce your monthly bill to keep you as a customer (it’s worked for me a few times now so definitely worth a try!).
5 ways to make extra money
1. Sell stuff online– Us humans can be sentimental hoarders sometimes, holding onto stuff we don’t need that could potentially help us earn some extra cash. Collect up those baby toys, clothes, gadgets and all those other bits and bobs, snap some photos and sell them online. It is so easy to upload items onto Facebook Marketplace to sell and with all the local selling pages quite often you don’t even have to pay for postage as the buyer will just come and collect from your house.
2. Start a blog – Writing might not be everyone’s cup of tea but if you enjoy crafting the written word into interesting content then blogging might just be for you. Making money from a blog takes a lot of time and effort so this no way a ‘get rich overnight’ option but if you put in the hours it won’t be long before you can start earning some extra money through blogging. Thanks to blogging I have been able to add money to the family pot whilst doing something I love at the same time. If you are interested in making money from blogging read my post about working with brands as a new blogger for some useful tips.
3. Get smart with the money you already have – Put your money into savings accounts that offer high interest rates and shop around banks to find an ISA that can boost your savings. You could also try your hand at investing in stocks and shares or give online peer to peer lending a try. Some banks also offer reward schemes such as giving you a set amount of money for every friend you recommend to switch over to the same bank as you. If you are willing to do your research then there are lots of ways you can make the money you already have boost your existing income.
4. Trade your stuff for cash – If you can’t be bothered to sell your things online, there are many shops on the high street that will gladly take certain things off your hands in exchange for cash. In the past we have taken old games consoles and games into Game and old DVDs to CEX and easily made a good bit of cash in just one afternoon. Obviously you can take items like jewellery, gadgets and a whole load of other things to a pawnbrokers if you are wanting to make some extra money fast.
5. Go freelance – If you have a particular skill you think people will pay you for then why not go freelance to earn some extra money? For instance, if you enjoy copy writing you can use sites like Copify or for other techy/online based skills you can find work using Upwork and Fiverr. Maybe you take an amazing photograph, utilise your skills with a camera and sell your photos to stock image websites like Shutterstock and Dreamstime. There are lots of ways you can turn your existing skills and hobbies into a source of extra income, you just need to put the work in.
If you are looking for ways to save and earn extra money then I hope this post has been useful. If you are super savvy when it comes to saving then please share your tips in the comments below.