Thirty Ways To Improve Your Lifestyle Without Getting A Payrise
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No matter who we are or what we do, we all have one thing in common. We use money. Most of us also are chasing that little bit extra to buy this thing or get that opportunity. In this report, I will be outlining some simple tricks and tips that we don’t get taught in schools. By applying some of these, you will be able to free up some of your hard earned cash for the things that are really important to you. There are six major things that will help you get back control of your money. These are: keeping track of where your money goes, saving, reducing debt, controlling credit, reducing expenses and increasing income. In this report you will discover various simple tricks for each of these categories that you can apply immediately to begin improving your lifestyle. Lets get started.
It’s hard to work out what you need to change to improve your situation, if you don’t fully understand what your situation actually is. This is the part of the journey where you find out where you are.
Tip #1 Write down in words what your financial situation is, and why you think it needs changing. This will help clarify what you need to do and why.
Tip #2 Keep a record of your bank balances (as well as loans) at the end of each month. This will tell you if you are saving or going into debt.
Tip #3 Keep a record of how much you earn and when.
Tip #4 Keep a record of every dollar you spend and then collate these each month into categories. You might be surprised at how much you actually spend on some things.
Tip #5 Go through your periodic bills (eg Insurance) and find out when they are due and how much they will be.
Once you have done all of these things, you will have a fair indication of your money situation. You can now start planning your journey towards an improved lifestyle.
Many people have trouble saving. There is always the unexpected bill that needs paying or they see something that they just have to have and there goes the savings. I have also heard people tell me that they don’t trust themselves not to spend the money. If this is you here’s a few tips on how to get those bank balances growing.
Tip #6 Develop some self-discipline. Spending a few months keeping track of your finances should do the trick. Also set yourself some guidelines. If you see something you want, don’t buy it for two weeks. You may decide that you didn’t need it after all.
Tip #7 Put money into a separate bank account, each payday, to cover those periodic bills.
Tip #8 Put money into a separate bank account, each payday, for future investments.
Tip #9 Put money into a separate bank account, each payday, for emergencies.
Tip #10 Put money into a separate bank account to save for expensive items you have always wanted, or lifestyle opportunities such as holidays.
It may seem like a lot of bank accounts, but in my experience, if you have all of your money together, it’s harder to keep track of what you have saved for and why. This way when a bill comes in, or a lifestyle opportunity comes up, you can check your balances and instantly know if you can afford to pay.
In today’s society, credit is one of the easiest things to get. You can buy almost anything with money that doesn’t belong to you and for a “low down easy payment” you can pay the money back over a very long period of time. The only problem is that you have to pay interest. If you don’t do your homework, you can end up paying three or four times what the item was worth to begin with. You may still be paying for it after you have no use for it and it is worth nothing. If you are in this situation, here’s how to clear those debts with speed.
Tip #11 Pay more than the minimum payment. Even if you don’t think that you can afford to, round it up. You will not miss a few extra dollars and you will be on your way to reducing your debt.
Tip #12 Don’t get any more credit. If you can’t pay cash, you don’t need it.
Tip #13 Pay off one loan at a time. You will be far more motivated to pay these debts if you see some results. Pick the loan with the highest interest rate, or the lowest balance and pay this one off in full first. With the money you are saving from the interest bill, add this to the payment of the next one to really get momentum.
Controlling your credit
Credit can still be a very useful financial tool if used properly. It can allow us to purchase things that would take us an extremely long time to save for such as a car or house. Here are some tricks for getting the most out of credit.
Tip #14 Don’t use credit for consumables. If it can wear out, run out or go out of fashion, don’t borrow for it. You’ll only end up paying more than it is worth, through interest payments.
Tip #15 Pay your credit card off in full each month. I know this seems to contradict the last statement, but if you use your credit card for monthly expenses, and clear it each month, you don’t have to keep huge amounts of cash on you and you get the benefit of interest on the money left in the bank for longer. Make sure you have a card with an interest free period.
Tip #16 Don’t withdraw cash from your credit card. It attracts immediate interest at a very high rate.
Tip #17 When buying a car, do your research on loans and figure out how much you can really afford. Go for a loan with a short payback period to reduce the amount of interest you have to pay. $300 over 3 years is much better than $250 over 7 years. You’ll save so much more money.
Tip #18 Beware of car finance companies. They may have a lower rate of interest, but it could be that you pay the interest on the whole amount for the life of the loan, not the decreasing amount.
Tip #19 Pay your home loan fortnightly instead of monthly. There are 26 fortnights which add up to 13 months. You won’t miss the extra months payment and you’ll significantly reduce the life of the loan and therefore the interest.
Tip #20 If you are good at keeping track, and you have good self-discipline, consider changing your home loan to a line of credit. By putting all of your pay into this loan account you will save more interest than you can make by keeping your savings in a debit account. Also you get taxed on interest earned, but not on interest saved. The extra available credit may be useful down the track for an investment opportunity, or just as an emergency fund. Decide on the balance that you will reduce this to at the end of each month, so you are not tempted to spend more because the money is available.
If you are keeping track of your expenses, you will probably already have identified places where you can make a few savings. I could fill up book with the number of savings tips in this category. I suggest you do a bit of your own investigating by looking up tips on the internet. Here are a few of my favourites.
Tip #21 Ask for a discount. Most retailers can drop the price of any item at any time. This is especially true for more expensive items.
Tip #22 Make your food instead of buying it. Less dinners out, less lunches from the café make for great savings.
Tip #23 Eat fresh food. Packaged food costs so much more. Trade those biscuits for an apple.
Tip #24 Don’t buy on impulse. If you didn’t plan to get it, you don’t need it.
Tip #25 Fill up a water bottle from home so you don’t have to buy drinks when you are out.
Tip #26 Buy second-hand. New cars decrease in value significantly when you drive out of the lot. For a saving of a few thousand dollars, get a demo model or one that is only a couple of years old. You can also get some bargains from ebay or the Trading Post.
There are so many ways you can reduce your cost of living without reducing your standard of living. Ask you friends what they do to save money. I find that a really good motivator for this is just keeping track. I don’t buy things that I don’t want to admit to buying because I have to put it in my spreadsheet at the end of the month.
All of the tips up to now have focussed on redirecting money you already have, so that it works better for you. Now, to really get your lifestyle off the ground, and be able to put extra into the investment account or your expensive items account, here are some ways to get some more money.
Tip #27 Have a garage sale. Some of us have more clutter than others and most of us have items we don’t use any more. Go through your house, room by room and whatever you find that you haven’t used in, say, six months, clean it up and sell it.
Tip #28 Do some freelance work. Most of us are good at more than one thing. You may already have a job, but finding a few extra hours to mow lawns or do handyman jobs could give you that little extra cash that helps out. You may be able to help out local businesses with their filing or accounts. Don’t discount any skill you have. Find a way to use it to help others and get paid at the same time.
Tip #29 Turn your hobby into a business. Do you have sewing strewn from one end of the house to another? Are you drowning in carpentry or paintings? Why not set up a market stall or put your work in the local shops on consignment.
Tip #30 Invest. If you are putting money aside each pay as in tip #8, you can put these to work by purchasing investments that give a good dividend or positive cash flow. Reinvest these returns for faster growth.
Tip #31 Get a payrise. We may as well include it. If you think you are worth more money, ask for it. If you don’t think you deserve a payrise, do something to earn it. Get to work earlier, leave later, work more efficiently, be proactive, don’t wait to be asked to do something, give suggestions on improvements for efficiency, work under budget. If you begin to be more of an asset to a company, you will get your bosses attention.
ConclusionSo there you have it, thirty-one ways to improve your lifestyle by changing a few things about how you handle money. We all use money so it is important to learn how to get the most out of it. In this report, we have covered the six subjects of keeping track of our finances, saving, reducing debt, managing credit, decreasing expenses and increasing income. These tips are just the ideas. It is now up to you to implement them. It takes time and effort and motivation to get from ideas to implementation. That is why I have developed a home-study course that takes you through these six stages in detail, including comprehensive worksheets and further reading. And no course would be complete without a real live tutor, so you also get me for a minimum of two hours each month to go through these worksheets with you, answer any questions, keep you motivated and get results. If you are interested in getting results, send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org with HOME STUDY in the subject line.