Tips and tricks to make your money go further

There seems to be so much doom and gloom around at the moment where money is concerned. Whether it’s inflation, interest rates, energy bills, fuel or food prices . . . the list just goes on and on.

Which all means that anything we can do to make our money go further has got to be a good thing.

So in this article we look at six tips and tricks to make your money go further.

Tip 1: Create a monthly budget

A budget really is the best way to get on top of your finances. It is the only way you can really get to know where your money is going, and make changes as needed. 

Start by making a list of everything you think you spend each month. Notice that word “think” there . . . we will come back to this later!

Create your list in whatever way works best for you. You may find it easier to use one of the many budgeting apps around, such as Money Dashboard, Wally or Emma, or you may prefer a notebook or a computer spreadsheet. But the most important thing is to get started.

Make sure you include all your expenditure. Some of this will be fixed costs – regular bills that you pay every month such as mortgage/rent, household bills, subscriptions etc. The rest will be variable costs – day to day expenses, some of which may be unforeseen. For example:

  • Food
  • Car and other transport costs
  • Childcare
  • Pets
  • Subscriptions
  • Sports/gyms
  • Personal care (eg hairdresser)
  • Clothes
  • Socialising
  • Holidays/short breaks

Creating a budget is the first step in working out where your money is going, but it’s also really important to see how accurate that budget is in reality. Which brings us onto Tip 2.

Tip 2 : Monitor your spending

It can be incredibly difficult to pin down your variable costs i.e. your day to day spending. Yes, you know how much your mortgage/rent, and other regular bills are. But do you really know how much you are spending on other things?

So try tracking your spending for at least a couple of months. Using either a notebook or spreadsheet or app, keep a record of everything you spend and on what. You may be horrified to find that you are spending far more than you thought on food each month, or socialising, or clothes. But you won’t know until you log all your spending for a while.

You will now have a better idea if you will be able to stick to your budget, and manage to stay afloat each month, or if you need to take some kind of action to balance the books. At this stage, many of us realise that we either need to maximise our income, minimise our expenditure, or both.

Tip 3 : Maximise your income

We are not talking about winning the lottery here, but to try and find realistic everyday ways to bring a little more money into your household.

Here are a few things to try:

  • Consider whether it’s time to change jobs. If you are in a bit of a rut workwise, and could earn more elsewhere, then this could be well worth doing.
  • Another option is to take on a second job, perhaps at the weekend or a couple of evenings a week. Even doing this on a temporary basis could give your finances a boost.
  • If you have a skill or talent to offer, why not consider doing this as a sideline. For example IT or administrative work, looking after children, homes or pets, or something creative such as writing, music, painting, graphics, baking, sewing, knitting or jewellery making.
  • Or how about selling goods online? Whether you sell goods you have created yourself, or clear your home of unwanted items, you could make money from sites such as eBay or Facebook Marketplace.
  • Another option could be to rent a spare room in your home, either on a permanent or occasional basis? You can earn up to £7500 tax free by doing this. Find out more details on the Gov UK website.

Tip 4 : Minimise your expenditure

Of course, spending less also makes a lot of sense at the moment. Even if you think this is impossible, you will probably be able to find ways to do this. When you look at your expenditure your initial reaction will most probably be that there is absolutely nothing that you can reduce. But often there is if you look more closely.

Here are six ideas to get you started:

  • Check whether you are spending money on unused memberships or subscriptions. Adopt the mantra “use it or lose it” and cancel anything that is not actively being used.
  • Contact all your suppliers – eg phone, TV and broadband, insurance providers – to see if you can get a better deal. If not, then switch suppliers. You can use comparison sites such as USwitch or Money Supermarket to help you find the best deal for you. 
  • Planning meals carefully can help you to save money on food. Cooking in batches is a good way to save both time and energy. It also means that you will have pre-prepared food in the freezer which is convenient and can also avoid last minute splurges on takeaway food when you can’t be bothered to cook.
  • Buy second hand clothes and household goods where possible instead of automatically buying new. There are great bargains to be had on sites like eBay and Facebook Marketplace.
  • Make staying in the new going out. Socialising with friends in different homes instead of always heading to a pub or restaurant can be much more economical but just as much fun.
  • Whilst on the subject of friends, why not see how you can help each other make your money go further by trading favours. In a group of friends there are likely to be different skills and abilities – for example, decorating, DIY, gardening, car maintenance skills, hairdressing, sewing, cooking etc – and you may be able to do these things for each other instead of paying someone else.

All of the above are ways that you can start trying to spend less money whilst still enjoying life.

Tip 4 : Ditch your debts

A massive step forward in making your money go further is ditching the debt. And yes, of course, this is easier said than done. But if you are burdened with debt to pay off, it seems like a never-ending vicious circle. And, if you’re not careful you can get into more debt because so much of your money is tied up in paying existing debt so there is no slack in the system. 

You can get started in paying off debt by firstly putting some of any savings you have to repay your debts. This can feel depressing, but remember that once you are free of paying your monthly credit card or other debt repayments, you will have more disposable income to start saving again.

Another way to tackle debt is to focus all your efforts into clearing just one of your debts. For example, either the smallest one or the most expensive one (i.e. the one with the highest rate of interest). This can be less burdensome if you try and see it as a challenge to be overcome, and find creative ways to raise more money to throw at the debt.

Once your chosen debt has been paid off, redirect the monthly repayment from that debt into the next one on your list. And so on. If you have lots of different debts and are finding it difficult to keep track, it may also be worth considering an online loan to repay all your current debts and just have one monthly repayment to make.

It will take time, but bit by bit your debt will reduce and you will begin to feel more in control of your money again.

Tip 5 : Start saving money

Many people don’t have savings, and with all the financial pressure upon us, it is easy to let savings slip off the bottom of the priority list. Which is completely understandable. But savings provide a financial buffer for whatever life throws your way. If there are happy events in your life – a new home, a wedding, a baby or any kind of celebrations – you have a bit of money behind you to enjoy it. And if an unforeseen problem arises – for example a family, household or medical emergency – you have some funds to help you manage things.

Three ways to get saving right now are to:

  • Open a new savings account and put aside just a small amount of money each month. Treat your savings like any other bill and try to forget it once you have paid. If possible, get a savings account where you can access your money quickly if needed but with a little bit of effort – so you won’t be tempted to dip your fingers in at any excuse.
  • If your bank account has a “save the change” option, activate this. Whenever you use your bank card, your bank will round up the bill to the next pound and pay the difference into a separate savings account for you. This means that you barely notice the money going out, but your savings gradually begin to build. There are also a range of savings apps that do similar.
  • Find other creative ways to save bits of money whenever you can. You may decide to have a jar for loose change at the end of every day, an account where you transfer money you decided not to spend on coffee, drinks or a magazine, or to put aside any money you receive as a gift. Every little helps!


We hope that the above tips and tricks will help you to make your money go further. And managing money is an area that you can always improve, so just start where you are.

For example, financial experts recommend the 50-30-20 rule for managing your personal finances: 50% of your income on bills and necessities, 30% on enjoying life and 20% into savings and debt repayments. Which sounds great, but if you are not able to achieve this right now, you can work to your own proportions then adjust once your finances start becoming more stable.

Good luck! And remember to check back here soon for more lifestyle and financial tips from direct lender Munzee Loans.