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Feeling the pinch? Make your money go further

September 22, 2015

banking, finance, lifestyle

 

Picture by Images_of_Money

When you’re already strapped for cash there is one utterly soul destroying event that can come out of the blue and ruin your day and the rest of the month. I am of course talking about bank charges. It’s easier than you might think to get a charge slapped onto your account. The most common reason: going over your overdraft limit.

Just one penny into the red (or over your agreed limit) will incur an average fine of around £30, which if your finances are already stretched as far as the horizon, will only help your money woes spiral out of control. It’s important to know your rights with the banks. Reading the small print is always a good idea, but you should also know where you stand  if you think you’ve been unfairly charged.

In these times of bare cupboards and moths living in your wallet, here are some simple money saving tips so you’ll hopefully  avoid catastrophe:

1. Be a Scrooge – he’s not just the tight-fisted principal character in Charles Dickens’ novel A Christmas Carol, it’s a way of life. If you’re as fastidious with money as old Ebenezer you’ll know where every penny is and where it’s going. But if you get visited by three spooks at Christmas, don’t say I didn’t warn you.

2. Eat cheap – Make a shopping list. If you plan what meals you’re going to make before you go shopping and stick to the plan, you’ll save an average of £520 per year. Comparing the price of certain products from different supermarkets  will save you money, it’s worth the extra time . If you stick to own-brand stuff, you could save as much as £1800 per year. Need I say more?

3. Sell! Sell! Sell! – Do you see that wardrobe full of clothes you never wear? Sell them on an online auction. A few pence for a t-shirt is better than nothing for it going in the bin.

4. Out of puff – There are plenty of reasons to quit smoking, but did you know that 20-a-day habit is costing you around £2000 a year?

5. Work it out – Working up a good sweat two or three times a week is good for the soul, but a gym membership will cost an average of £40 a month. You could just save the money and buy a bike.

6. Cash ISA  – You can invest up to £3000 per year in your personal ISA, and the great thing is it’s tax-free. What does that mean? You don’t pay tax on the interest, so if you squeeze a little out of your current account every month, it’ll generate up to £150 a year.

Do you have any advice on how to cope with a personal debt crisis? Tell us in our comments section.

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