Are you in complete despair when reviewing your monthly expenses? Realistically it’s not surprising, for last year the minimum total of expenses for a UK region was a shocking £427.50; with the highest total being £616.30 in Greater London.

If you’re concerned about your finances, perhaps it’s time to cut corners through comprehensive spending to ultimately save those costs. Check out this guide on how to live life on a budget without sacrificing quality.

Road to Change 

Create a Plan:

First off, there’s no point mindlessly jumping straight into altering your finances with no considerations, for you are effectively changing your entire lifestyle. You still need to live, so boycotting all expenditures will simply fail. Start by creating a plan that covers all your current overheads to work out A) how much you’re spending and B) what’s costing the most. Software like Excel is brilliant for producing spreadsheets that are easy to interpret.

Suit Your Circumstances: 

One scheme of planning definitely won’t suit everyone, so make sure yours suits you. Take into account when you get paid (i.e. weekly, bi-weekly or monthly) to ensure your smarter spending complies. Another important factor to reflect on is the amount of people living in your home. Naturally if you live alone you’ll have fewer essential expenses than a family of four so set a limit per person to create an overall figure.

Set Goals:

Once you’re aware of the individual expenses, start setting some goals that’ll help you achieve and most importantly, stick to your targets. These need to be sensible and realistic, for example – reduce expenses on groceries by £50 a month. Putting these goals in a visible place like the refrigerator or a pin board will ensure everyone in the household is aware of these goals; increasing your chances of everyone sticking to them.


Separate Wants From Needs:

Be honest, how many items do consider a need when they actually aren’t? A need is something you simply couldn’t survive without (food, water & shelter); whereas a want covers the things you desire to have that you realistically could live without (expensive holidays and designer clothes). Categorising these separately will ensure you’re saving on the wants and focusing more on the needs.

Food

Create a Food Budget:

The average UK household spends approximately £60.00 a week on groceries, that’s over £3,100 per year… Considering a family with children throws away £700.00 worth of food annually, perhaps you’re buying way more than necessary. Implement a weekly or monthly food budget that sets a limit per person in the household to make the budgeting fairer and easier to manage. Also if you want to be really thorough, it might be beneficial to research each supermarket to gain a comparison on which will work best for you. In May 2016 Aldi once again triumphed over all six leading UK supermarkets, ranking £10.68 cheaper than ASDA and over £20.00 cheaper than Sainsbury’s.

Buy Multipurpose Foods:

Stocking up on your staples is a brilliant solution to making food last longer. Always having staples means you’ll have a variety of cheap meals to cook, allowing you to focus the rest of your food budget on fresh produce. Some great staple foods include:

– Rice

– Cooking oil (light olive oil)

– Butter

– Eggs

– Frozen vegetables

– Tinned fish

– Tinned tomatoes

– Dry beans

– Pasta

– Spices

 

Less Meat:

 

You can save money by skipping the meat and going vegetarian. A recent study identified a vegetarian diet can save you up to £530.00 a year in comparison to a meat diet. However, if you’re not prepared to go cold turkey on the meat, try incorporating some vegetarian meals throughout the week to reduce meat consumption. Cheaper cuts can be sourced through economy meat (sausages, chicken wings, mince and even organ meat), combine these with vegetables to produce both tasty and cheap stews, casseroles, soups and bakes.

 

Purchase in Season:

Fruit & vegetables are at their cheapest in season, so as it is summer you could focus on purchasing: strawberries, cherries, cauliflower, mangetout and asparagus. Thankfully there are vegetables that grow all year: carrots, potatoes, cabbage, celery and sweet potatoes as they can withstand the winter months.

Luxury Alternatives

Exercise for Free:

The UK wastes a total of £37 million a year on unused gym memberships, and with the average membership costing a gym-goer £442.00 annually, are you really getting the most out of yours? Ditch the gym and workout at home for free. Plan your own weekly workout routine (e.g. Monday – run for two hours, Tuesday – do an hour of aerobics, etc.) You could even set up an exercise group that meets in the park every week if you prefer a group workout.

 

 

Eat Meals at Home:

According to a recent study Britons spend £4,000.00 a year on dining out, that’s a ¼ of the average annual living income! Saving leftovers is a great way to avoid having to cook and not spending a fortune in a restaurant. Planning a weekly menu at home will ensure the time duration of each meal complies with your daily schedule.

Ditch the Habits:

Smoking is not only unhealthy, but it costs a fortune. In 2015, an average 20-a-day smoker spent £3,000.00 on cigarettes, that’s almost a year’s worth of food.  This will test how determined you are, for kicking a habit is never easy, but dedication will always prevail. Another habit you could kick are all those work morning coffees. Buying a coffee everyday costs you £519.00 a year, so either invest in a flask or wait until you get to the office.

Clothing Cutbacks:

Clothes are always something we have more of than we actually use; making them a fantastic cost cutting solution. Before you purchase new clothes go through your old garments and choose between the ones you do and don’t wear. Try selling these at car boots or online, that way you can reinvest any money earnt into new garments. Sticking to sale racks and avoiding expensive clothing is essential for making your money go further; the beauty of fashion nowadays is the versatility -nothing ever really ages.

Homemaking

Purchase Inexpensive Furnishings:

There is absolutely no need to splash out on brand new furniture when there are fantastic alternative methods, for example – instead of purchasing a new oak wood cupboard for storage when you can buy plastic containers for considerably cheaper; these can even be decorated with wrapping paper for extra appeal.

Fix & Update Instead of Replace:

Shabby chic furniture is extremely popular right now, so don’t throw away and replace broken furniture, try fixing them instead. If the legs on old chairs are coming loose then retighten the joints; don’t throw them away for the sake of a little DIY. When things the kitchen cupboards are looking tiresome and outdated, add a coat of paint to revamp them.

Energy Saving Solutions:

It costs 7.3p to run ten lightbulbs for an hour, and although this doesn’t seem like a huge amount the cost quickly adds up. To prevent the gradual cost increase, optimise natural lighting for as long as possible by opening the curtains and cleaning your windows. In the colder months, turn down the heating and opt for blankets and hot water bottles for added comfort without the added heating bill.

Accessorise Inexpensively:

Accessorising your home doesn’t need to involve fancy cushions and overpriced candles. Add house plants for extra colour and freshness; these can be purchased very cheaply at almost all supermarkets for considerably less than gardening shop prices. Picture frames are also great for brightening up plain walls without having to purchase expensive wallpaper. If you’re feeling particularly adventurous, you could sew your own cushion and sofa covers for a sense of uniqueness, discarded pieces of fabric can be purchased from most charity shops for a fraction of their original price.

 

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Your life is full of more money advice than you can possibly take in. Unfortunately, much of it falls into the “just give up that expensive cappuccino!” variety, which makes sense on the surface, but only applies to 0.001% of the population. The fact is there are no “easy” fixes to real financial problems. Changing your financial life is just as hard as changing your health, your relationships, or your career. So if you are tired of your money problems, open your mind, take a deep breath and read on.

Forget Your Goals

Chances are you’ve had the same financial goals for a long time now. “I want to own my own home.” “I want to live comfortably.” “I want to be debt free.” If these goals were going to fix things, you’d have checked some of them off the list by now. Unfortunately, for change to occur, there needs to be a clean slate. So stop trying to fix the ramshackle financial house you’ve built in your mind. Instead bulldoze it and rebuild from the ground up. To do that, there are a lot of other things you need to forget.

Forget What You Want to Own

You are currently surviving with what you own. If you weren’t, you wouldn’t be wasting your time reading an article on finances. This means that, at a fundamental level, you don’t need more stuff. This isn’t meant to be a judgment against struggling people who “waste” money on fast food or cigarettes that only the rich “deserve.” Instead, it’s a fundamental change in how you think about possessions. They just don’t matter until your money situation is fixed.

Forget “Saving” Money by Spending It

This goes hand in hand with the previous point but also applies to spending on essentials. If there is a great sale on something you want, but it means buying more than you budgeted, don’t. The hypothetical money you “saved” by spending more may feel good, but it won’t help you in an emergency the way money you actually save and put aside will. Having real money set aside for real emergencies is a must.

Forget Your Credit Score

Your credit score has one real purpose – to make it easier to take on debt. Sure, in the long run making good financial decisions will improve your credit score, but until you get where you need to be financially, it might as well be the high score on an old arcade game. Sure, it makes you feel good about yourself, but you might waste a lot of money achieving it. Save for emergencies and pay off debts that will make a difference to your long-term situation rather than paying off debts that will protect your high score. And never, ever try to improve your score by taking on new debt.

Forget Fairness

Oscar Wilde, who was no economist, once said “Life is never fair, and perhaps it is a good thing for most of us that it is not.” This is hard to accept. The world is stacked against you in many ways that you cannot change. There may be some ways that it isn’t but for the most part, you won’t notice those. If you are going to change your financial life, you cannot beat your head against the wall bemoaning the fact that some people get to have things you don’t and do things you can’t. Yes, it is unfair. It is also the way things have always been. The one comfort is that if you can tolerate that long enough to truly change your financial situation, then you have a better chance of becoming one of the people that other people are jealous of.

Informational credit: Accuplan Benefits Services, providing self-directed IRAs and 401Ks

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Cash advance loans can be a bit tricky to get out of. If you’re already living paycheck to paycheck, you don’t want to fall into the trap of rolling your loan over into a second loan. Defaulting on these loans can wreak havoc on your credit score and the next time you apply for a loan it will have to be a personal loans for bad credit lender. To avoid financial strains, use these tips to pay off your cash advance loans.

Adjust Your Income Withholding

Think back to your last year’s refund check. Could it have been over $1,000? If you’d like to pay that cash advance loan off a bit sooner, lowering your principal balance is the way to go. Instead of waiting to receive your lump sum of income tax refund next year, start taking it in smaller chunks now.

Contact your employer’s payroll department and ask for a W-4 form so you can claim additional allowances. Be sure to claim up to your legal limit and that they can be verified. By your next paycheck, you’ll find you are taking home more pay. Just do this for a few paycheck cycles to get caught up, so you aren’t left owing Uncle Sam next year.

Borrow from Your Retirement Account

While you should not withdraw your money from your retirement account to pay off a small debt, it is best to borrow against your retirement account if possible. For one, you can eliminate a large monthly debt, putting more money back in your pocket each month. You’ve also stopped giving away that interest fee each month.

Get Rid of High-Cost Bills

Cable packages, cell phone services, magazine subscriptions, these are all high-cost bills that can be reduced or eliminated. Consider your cable bill. Do you need to have three package plans? All you need is basic cable and a Netflix account to catch other movies.

If you have a cell phone provider, go online and compare plans. Or, contact your provider and see what discounts or lower package plans they can offer you.

For those that still have magazine subscriptions, cancel them all together. You can view these online or use a software application on your cell phone.

Get on a Utility Budget Plan

You may also be able to reduce your utility bills. It’s not always the most favorable option, but it can reduce your bill for the time being and allow you to pay off your cash advance loan. Contact your utility companies and ask them if you can be placed on the budget plan. You’ll have a fixed amount to pay each month, so you are not left with any surprises. They estimate your bill from the past year or prior season and calculate this amount for you. If there are credits or balances at the end of the term, it’s added on at that time.

Rent Out a Room

If you have a spare room in your home to rent out, you can easily make a few hundred dollars a month. It’s easier to do so for someone you know rather than a stranger of course. You could rent out your garage for someone who needs to store boxes or their motorcycle. Just be sure to draw up a contract to avoid any conflict later down the line and protect you both legally.

Borrow Against Your Life Insurance Policy

If you find yourself getting deep in trouble with paying off your cash advance loan or keeping up with the payments, talk to your insurance provider about borrowing against your life insurance policy. Often you’re not required to pay it back in full. Just remember the amount you borrow will be deducted against your death benefits. 

Why do students learn to write a financial analysis paper? This assignment helps students improve their knowledge about the structure of every company. If they decide to found their own firm, they should know how to manage its financial health. This knowledge is vital for investors too. If they analyze the financial condition of the specific company correctly, they will be able to invest in this company without any negative consequences. If you devote your money to a venture, you should know whether it is safe and reliable. A professional financial analysis is able to display the actual financial condition of the particular company. If you want to learn how to complete a factual financial analysis paper, dwell on these basic writing tips.

Tip #1: Analyze the Existing Financial Statements

The foremost duty of everyone who wants to cope with a detailed financial analysis is to obtain financial statements. If you analyze a specific company suggested by the teacher, you can find its financial statements in the Internet or in the definite books on business and accounting. If you are ambitious to research a completely different firm, you can receive these documents directly from its owner. Of course, this job is often complicated. Nevertheless, if you have had your practice at the chosen company, you can receive at least several financial statements devoted to the certain period in the past. There is hardly a boss who will supply you with the relevant information of this kind. Bear in mind that a financial statement is a complex document that embraces numerous minor documents, like a balance sheet, an income statement, an equity statement and a cash flow statement. You will have to look through and analyze every document in order to complete a full financial analysis paper

Tip #2: Look over a Balance Sheet

A balance sheet is the document that demonstrates the balance between such elements as assets, liabilities and owner’s equity. This balance is paramount for the objective survey of the specific firm. You should know about its assets and debts. Moreover, you ought to examine the shareholder equity. It is smart to pay attention to any shifts in this balance in order to find the weak sides of the company. It is a bad signal when a company loses its assets and increases its debt without any objective reasons.

Tip #3: Inspect an Income Statement

This statement shows the income and loss of a company’s capital. A common successful company has a tendency of the gradual increase of its income indicator. When you notice the reduction of the firm’s revenue, it means that it is close to crisis and bankruptcy. Such firms are unreliable and require reorganization and alteration of their business strategy.

Tip #4: Observe a Statement of Changes in Equity

This statement concentrates on the analysis of the changes that have occurred within the shareholder’s equity. It is vital to know whether a company purchases new stocks or not. It can illustrate its future plans for the further development. The owner’s equity can be measured in the easiest way. You ought to subtract the liabilities from the assets. If the sum of the equity is gradually reducing, it is a bad sign for the financial health of the specific firm.

Tip #5: Study a Cash Flow Statement

A cash flow statement resembles an income statement. However, there is a slight difference between these documents. A cash flow statement can be more useful for the objective and scrupulous survey of a company’s financial condition. This statement contains the precise facts concerning the sum of the money a company actually possesses. Furthermore, it demonstrates all expenses and profits. It shows the sources of cash flow. You can learn about the ways a company receives its profit. A cash flow statement is one of the documents that can prove the guilt of a cheating and unfair entrepreneur.

Tip #6: Calculate a Company’s Ratio and Competitiveness

When you want to capture the actual financial condition of a peculiar firm, you ought to calculate its financial ratio analyzing all financial statements and their components. You can compare the results with the ratios of other companies of the same sector on the market. If the ratio increases, it means that a company copes with the obstacles and accumulates cash. If a company possesses a reducing ratio, its competitiveness on the market falls down. Bear in mind that you cannot compare two companies if you do not conduct financial analysis papers for both of them. Thus, students do not need to compare ratios and performance of several companies. They just need to look over the financial health of a one particular firm to demonstrate their knowledge about the basic process of financial analysis paper writing in college and universty.

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