Archives December 2019

How to Have More money to have Fun with

Many of us enjoy having an excess of money so that we can have fun. We could spend it on things like holidays, hobbies, entertainment and other things that bring us a lot of fun. However, as this spending is not necessary it can mean that there are many of us that do not really have enough money to spend on these sorts of things. Obviously, it is sensible to prioritise spending and buy necessities first and borrowing money for fun might not feel like the right thing to do. However, there might be ways that you can free up more money to have fun with.

  • Compare prices – it can be sensible to compare prices on everything that you buy, whether that is necessities or luxury items. If you can find the same items sold for less money then you can save that way or you might be able to switch to a different brand and save more. It will take time to think about the cost of every single thing that you buy and look into whether you can pay less for it, but it can be worth it. Each small saving that you manage to make will add up and it should make a difference to how much money you will have left over to have fun with. To save time, you can often compare prices online. For things like financial products, food and insurance there are comparison websites. Although they often do not include all products, they will still give you an idea of whether what you are paying is a lot more than what you could pay if you went elsewhere. For other products you may have to look at different retailer’s websites to compare prices. You might think that you know which will be cheaper because certain retailers have a reputation for being cheaper, but you may find that you are surprised. This might be because certain places have a sale or because the cheaper retailers actually sell items in smaller quantities so although the price per pack is less, the price per 100g is less.
  • Cut out unnecessary spending – many of us buy things that we do not really need to. It can be hard cutting back on the things that we really like, but you will find that there are some things that we like more than other things. If you ask yourself whether you really want something every time you buy something then you will consider it more closely and you might decide that perhaps you could go without it. Also, you may have subscriptions or regular payments for things that you may have forgotten about. Therefore, check your bank statement and look at all of the payments going out and you will be able to see whether there are any that you do not recognise or no longer need. You might be surprised at what you discover.
  • Save up – if the things that you like to do to have fun are expensive, such as holidays, then you will benefit from saving up some money towards it. Putting away a set amount each month using a direct debit to transfer it to a savings account can be the best way to do this. If you do this just after you are paid, you will have the money available to do it. You may need to budget carefully to be able to afford to do this and it can be wise to think about what you can afford. It may just be a small amount but it will all add up and if you stay motivated, you may even be able to save a bit extra if you are careful with your spending each month.
  • Borrow – another option is to borrow money from somewhere like Cobra. Many people will borrow moneys o that they can go on holiday, eat out, do things with friends or finance their hobbies. Loans can be handy for this sort of thing but it is important to make sure that you are able to repay them and that you are aware of how much they cost. You will be able to calculate this before you take out the loan and so you can decide whether they will be a good idea for you. Start by working out how much you can afford to repay each month by looking at your bank statement and seeing how much money you have available each month or how much you will able to make available. You might be able to reduce spending in other areas to make it possible. Once you find a loan which will allow you to borrow the amount you need and that you can repay in instalments that you can afford, you can then work out how much it will cost. It could be easiest to ask the lender this question. Of course, if it is a variable interest rate then the cost could go up if interest rates rise, but the cost could also go down if interest rates fall. It could be best to just calculate it based on the current rates and see whether you feel that it would offer good value for money.

How to Prioritise what to Spend Your Money on

If you are feeling short of money, want to save money or have extra to repay a loan, then you may have to think carefully about what you are spending your money on. We spend money on a lot of different things and it is important to think about which things we should pay for first. There will be disagreements between individuals as to what should be bought first but hopefully this list will help you to think harder about it and decide what might work for you.

  • Pay yourself first – this is a mantra which many people stick to where they make sure that they put some money into their savings account as soon as they get paid. They do this so that they know that they have saved some money and hope that they will be able to budget carefully for the rest of the month to ensure that it is something that they will be able to afford. Many people would rather wait until they are about to be paid and then put any money left into savings. However, this could be risky as they may not have anything left and so there will be nothing left to put into the account.
  • Basic food – we will need to make sure that we can eat and so prioritising food is important. However, there are lots of different foods available and we will often buy food that is more expensive than necessary or we buy more food than we eat or than we need. Basic food would just include three meals a day, made from scratch with basic ingredients. No take away food, eating out or ready meals. No snacks such as sweets, cakes biscuits, chocolate or crisps. No drinks such as alcohol, fizzy drinks, juices or take away coffee. By starting with a really simple approach then you will save a lot of money.
  • Rent/mortgage – if we do not pay these, we could end up with nowhere to live. It is therefore really important that we prioritise spending here. However, it can be possible to spend less in these areas if we are careful. For example, if we make sure that we are not living in a property that is unnecessarily big that can help. Also, the area that we choose to live can be a big factor in the cost as well. Think about whether you will be prepared to move so that you can keep those costs down.
  • Loan repayments – you must cover your loan repayments or else there will be consequences. These could be in the form of you being charged extra money and a poorer credit score. If you miss too many payments then you could be taken to court or have items form your home taken away. If you have used something as collateral on the loan, such as your home or car, then that could be taken away.
  • Utilities – we need to pay our utility bills if we want to make sure that we have water, electricity and gas. Without paying these we could get cut off and this will not be good at all.
  • Contracts – if we have any contracts, we will need to pay these. They could be for our phone, broadband or other things. We are obliged to pay them and if we do not, we can risk having higher charges or going to court.
  • Transport to work – it is really important that we can get to work so that we can earn money and therefore, whether we have a car or go by public transport, we need to make sure that we can cover those costs. This may also need to include the cost of travel for children to school, whether they are taken in the car or go by bus or train.
  • Clothes for work and school – it is also important to have the right uniform or clothing for work and school and these need to take priority spending wise over other clothing.
  • Compulsory insurance – there are some insurances we have to have such as life and buildings insurance if we have a mortgage and car insurance. If we do not have these then we can get into trouble, With no car insurance we could get banned form driving and the car could get taken by the police. With no buildings insurance we will have to find the money to repay the mortgage company for our home if it falls down, is burnt down or damaged in other ways and without any life insurance if we die before the mortgage is paid off it will be up to our next of kin to take it on.
  • Basic toiletries and cleaning products – we will want to keep our home clean and ourselves. Therefore, we will need to buy some things to help us to do this.
  • Telephone and broadband – although these may not have been considered to be necessities in the past, we would find it very hard to get on without them. They enable us to apply for jobs, do our banking, keep in touch socially and all sorts of other things which could be very useful to us.