This is a collaborative post bringing you tips on enjoying life on a budget.
Everyone wants to enjoy a slice of the good life. However, the harsh reality is that financial restrictions prevent most people from making it happen. Thankfully, by making a conscious effort to utilise your capital in an efficient manner, you can see big results.
The key is to focus on the features that have the biggest impact on your finances. Here are 12 simple steps that will allow you to balance your finances and enjoy life.
#1. Stop Hoarding
Millions of people find it hard to relinquish assets, and it’s often a major source of financial waste. Selling your current furnishings and appliances can help finance your kitchen remodel. Likewise, your old tech equipment can be used to claw back some much-needed funds when updating the home office or living room. After all, one person’s junk is another’s treasure.
It’s not only the major items that are preventing you from unlocking the full potential of your capital or lifestyle. Trading in old phones, game consoles, and home essentials will pay dividends. Aside from saving valuable funds in the budget, which can be reinvested into future purchases, it’ll save money around the home. Underestimate the influence that this brings at your peril.
#2. Rent & Hire
We live in an age where ownership is deemed to be everything. In reality, there are many scenarios where rental agreements and leasing can work out far better in the long run. When buying a new car, looking at practical options like the Vauxhall Corsa is a great starting point. However, depreciation means that personal contract hire agreements may be the better option.
Long-term hiring agreements are useful in a variety of situations. However, one-off rentals can be useful for a range of smaller items. Renting an outfit for a special occasion stands out as a particularly good example. Ultimately, buying any product that will sit in storage does not offer value for money, even if it’s at a good budget.
#3. Develop Assets
Many people miss out on opportunities for a better life due to a short-sighted approach. When buying a property, opting for a fixer-upper can help you get more for your money. Better still, the interior upgrade processes will allow you to stamp your authority on the home. When combined with the benefits of eco-friendly additions, the financial benefits can follow for years to come.
Developing assets isn’t restricted to the home. You can up-cycle old clothes or household goods to achieve unique products on a budget. The emotional satisfaction gained from the work should provide an additional source of happiness. In turn, those strong relationships with your assets will help you discover the future you crave while saving money for other issues.
#4. Use Coupons
Regardless of what item you wish to buy, getting the best value for money is a priority. Once upon a time, the process of searching all retailers and suppliers would have taken too long. In turn, any savings would have been rendered pointless due to the time constraints. In today’s market, simple price comparison websites can quickly unlock major budget savings. Not an ad, but I always use Compare The Market for my car and holiday insurance.
On a similar note, browser add-ons like Honey automate savings. This is achieved by applying vouchers and discounts without any additional effort on your behalf. Whether you save 5% or 50% on future purchases, those savings are gained without any compromise on your quality of life. It is, therefore, the perfect solution for all.
#5. Holiday Off-Peak
Holidays are an integral feature of our lives, providing some of the most magical moments to remember. In fact, following the impacts of Covid-19, their influence will be greater than ever. However, aside from ensuring that your next holiday is safe, you must also consider the budget. One of the best ways to manage both tasks is to choose an out-of-season trip.
Travelling at off-peak times can reduce the costs of travel, accommodation, and attractions. You can check online resources to gain insight into the climate and whether any landmarks will be closed. As long as you plan the trip in a mature fashion, you’ll be able to enjoy vacations that were previously out of reach. The calmer settings may actually enhance the experiences.
#6. Build Your Credit Score
It may seem like a strange way to boost your quality of life, but improving your credit score should be a priority. A better score will allow you to gain lower interest rates on future credit agreements. It also allows you to have more luxury without breaking the bank. Moreover, it’s a key step towards gaining opportunities to purchase bigger assets on repayment plans.
There are many ways to boost your credit score, depending on the current situation. Using prepaid credit cards is a smart move for people with low scores. Meanwhile, registering to vote and reducing your utilisation levels will help the figure move in a positive direction. The sooner you act, the sooner you’ll see the benefits for your bank balance and lifestyle.
#7. Enjoy Home Date Nights
Time spent with your loved one is an essential ingredient in the recipe for success. Visiting your favourite restaurant is an ideal way to enhance special occasions. But, home date nights are often a better option. With these stunning meals, cooking and eating together will help you appreciate the simple joys – and it’s far cheaper too.
A similar concept can be used to bolster your social life without breaking the bank. Hosting garden parties and BBQs is an ideal solution, particularly if guests bring their own drinks. Moreover, groups can take it in turns of hosting. Even if this isn’t viable, the added usage of your garden offers the perfect excuse for investing money in a garden upgrade to add value to the home.
#8. Buy Clothes Out-Of-Season
Looking good makes you feel good. Fact. Even if you’re not an overly materialistic person, you’ll probably agree that branded clothes often keep their shape better. Moreover, simply having the name of a famous fashion label on your clothes can generate an odd sense of pride. It’s a hard phenomenon to explain, but we all fall for it. However, nobody enjoys paying through the nose for their clothes.
While fashion evolves over the decades, the year-on-year changes are minimal. So, one of the best ways to save money is to prepare your summer wardrobe by buying last season’s trends during the winter. And vice versa. Retailers want to clear their stock rooms and storage facilities, allowing you to get the label at a far smaller cost.
#9. Invest In A Coffee Maker
Millions of workers rely on their morning coffees to function properly. Sadly, that quick trip to the train station coffee stall is costing you around £100 per month. You deserve the simple luxury of a tasty morning ‘pick me up’, but it is a waste of money. In many cases, it also results in a significant spike in daily calorie consumption.
Buying a high-quality home brewing machine, like a Delonghi ECAM23, seems expensive. However, it’ll pay for itself within four months while allowing you to create personalised drinks. Aside from your morning beverage, it’ll transform weekend drinks. With so many great coffee bean products on the market, you can become a real connoisseur of the good stuff.
#10. Use Student Beauticians
A good beauty routine can have a telling impact on the way you look and feel. Most people looking to enjoy budget-friendly beauty will look to home treatments. While they certainly have a big role to play, home manicures and exfoliation procedures are just the start. Allow students to complete the salon treatments, and you’ll get the professional rewards at a fraction of the cost.
Some people may worry about getting their hair styled in this way. However, a student beauty salon visit for nail art or spa-like procedures can work wonders. All you’ll pay is a small tip for the service while the students get to develop their skills. It works out well for all parties, not least because you get the self-satisfaction of knowing you’ve helped out.
#11. Use Modern Home Tech
You already appreciate the benefits of developing a property. However, it’s not simply a case of making it a suitable living space that’s safe and functional. A range of advanced tech features can make your home feel futuristic, which injects new luxury. An instant boiling water tap, power shower, and robotic cleaners all show it’s not all about entertainment. Sometimes, comfort is king.
Nonetheless, you can still embrace modern tech to improve the home entertainment features. For example, a home cinema projector screen will transform the lounge. Further additions ranging from VR gaming systems to Alexa assistance are ideal too. In many cases, investments for the home add value to the property as well as your life.
#12. Stop Worrying
Last but not least, you should stop comparing yourself to others. Learn to be happy with the products and people in your life, and you won’t go wrong.
Let us know, in the comments, what you think of our budget tips. Share yours with us too.