There is no denying that a home and household can be your biggest expense. Not just with the whole buying of your home, but also the regular bills and payments that are needed to maintain it. Not to mention those unexpected costs when things break down and don’t go your way. But for many of us, our income never changes, and we will always be left with the same amount after all those direct debits have left our account, but it doesn’t have to be this way. There are many ways you can boost your current income by making small changes and doing things a little differently.
It doesn’t have to be big investments, although sometimes the long term solutions can give you the most gain. There are small and big things that you can try. With that in mind, here is a guide on how you can boost your income and the amount of money you have left each month. After all, a little bit extra in your purse can go a long way towards those little life luxuries we all deserve.
Take a long hard look at your bank statement
One of the first things you should do is go through your last few months bank statements. Grab yourself a highlighter and pinpoint where you are spending the most money, and if there are any deductions you don’t need to be spending at all. You would be surprised how many people find rogue direct debits payments leaving their account each month for things like gym and magazine subscriptions they subsequently thought had been canceled.
What this should do is highlight where your money is going each month. Of course there many be amounts that can’t be changed such as a mortgage or rent payment, but you will also find there are plenty of opportunities to save.
Tackle the biggest bill you have the most control over
There is no surprise that after a mortgage or rent payment you will find that most of your money is spent on living and food expenses. The weekly or monthly shop can set you back a fair bit and take up a huge chunk of your disposable income. But with a few changes, there are many ways you can reduce this. The first option would be simply changing where you shop, there are plenty of stores around that offer cheaper alternatives. Another suggestion would be to consider supermarket branded items instead of your normal leading brands. They often have no difference in taste but can save you a fair bit on your shopping bill.
Another tip would be to start meal planning and arming yourself with a list of items you need rather than just guessing. This can slash pounds off your shopping bill and can offer you a huge saving each week.
Our energy bills can be another bill that costs us a fair bit. Especially during the winter months where we are cranking up our heating and switching more lights on. However, don’t despair as you can still make some changes to reduce this bill. Firstly, look at your own usage at home and see if there is any way you may waste electricity or gas. Perhaps you accidentally have the heat on while you are at work, or have a habit of leaving lights on upstairs or in rooms you aren’t using. Even switching the television off at the wall instead of leaving it on standby can help to reduce your outlay.
However, many of us don’t bother changing our electricity supplier, and this is where we can be missing out on huge savings. Many energy providers save great deals and discounts to entice new customers, so it may be worth becoming a new customer yourself and switching. It could be as simple as ringing a supplier and asking what deal they could provide.
Property is where a lot of money can be gained
We know that the purchase of a property can mean that you can see your home increase in value. That might be over a period of time or even when you have made changes, improvements and modifications to the home. But you could also consider doing this with other properties as well. This could be homes that you buy and renovate and sell on for profit. It might be that you buy homes to rent out, giving you a short term income as well as long term profit. You could look at a Bridging Finance option to help you do it or even use profits in your home for the benefit after the house sells once more. Renovations can be done by yourself in your spare time, of if you budget correctly you can have someone in to do it for you. While it may not give you such a quick result, it can often be one of the options that could give you the biggest boost to your income.
If you have to spend then use these tips
Of course, there are things we have to spend our money on. Clothes, transport, and basic living. So if you have to spend then why not try and make it worth your while. Cashback sites can offer you a percentage of your money back when making purchases online. Simply by clicking through to the retailer from their site. Other things to consider would be using voucher codes and coupons when heading to the shops. There are always vouchers and coupons in magazines or even online if you know where to look. Loyalty cards can also come in handy, as many supermarkets allow you to earn points every time you spend with them. Then all you have to do is save them up to spend back in store. Some people save their vouchers and points balances for times of the year like Christmas, where your budget can be stretched further. It can really lighten the load and allow you to indulge in those extra little luxuries we all know and love at that time of the year.
Try a side hustle in your spare time
Once you have exhausted all your current outgoings now is the time to try and make a bit extra in your spare time. There are plenty of side hustles online that could help boost your income, as well as things you can do in your spare time. Consider carrying out surveys online, performing mystery shops or even starting an online blog to boost your income. So many people do this, and they can even take on jobs like mystery shopping. This is where you attend a place and analyse them for different things. You may need to have a meal in a restaurant, or make a purchase ein a shop, but you will be compensated for it and also paid a fee, so it can work out quite well. The internet is packed full of inspiration and ways you can make a little extra here and there, and it can all stack up. Especially if you would be on your phone or laptop at night anyway, you may as well put that time to good use.
Turn your hobby into a money maker
If you have a hobby that you think could earn you some money then why not feel inspired to take that plunge today? Perhaps you have a skill in sewing or you are fabulous at baking cakes, then advertising your services on places like Facebook is a great way to kick start your very own business from home. Or you may also want to use other selling platforms like Etsy or eBay to sell you goods. This could go from strength to strength or simply provide you with the extra income in your budget as spending money each week.
Declutter your home and make money in the process
Finally, your home could be bursting at the seams with potential items to declutter and sell on websites like eBay. Decluttering is a great way to get your home more organised, but some of the items you have may be too good to throw away. This is why it’s worth selling these items onto other people and boosting your own income. Many people do this and challenge themselves to list a certain amount of items each week, and by doing so, they can really boost their income. This time of year is the perfect time to start thinking about it. If you don’t want to use eBay, Facebook has various selling pages and groups of local people wanting specific items. It is also the ideal time to clear your home because Christmas is just around the corner, and that can mean that you need to make some extra space for new things, such as child sleeps gifts, for example.
Let’s hope this guide helps you boost your income, who knows, maybe a holiday in the sun is closer than you think, or a debt free christmas is on the cards.