Making the Most of Money
Simple ideas on how to make the most of your
Money can’t buy you happiness, absolutely true but not having enough can certainly bring you misery. Not enough money or having debt can seriously impact your happiness and mental wellbeing. No savings, especially for retirement can also be a worry but slightly less so because it’s a future problem.
We all need money, not only to survive but to enjoy life as well. We’ve become accustomed to borrowing being completely normal culture. Borrowing can be essential at times, not many people can afford to buy a house without a mortgage. However, borrowing beyond your means or having no real plan of how you can repay it, can be both foolish and stressful. At the opposite end of the scale, having plenty of money and wasting it is also foolish.
Managing your money and making the most of it is much easier if you analyse your position and make a plan. Regardless of whether you’re struggling to make ends meet or rolling in it, planning is absolutely essential.
Hopefully I can offer some worthwhile ideas and guidance regardless of where you are on the scale. This information essentially falls into three categories, generate, conserve and grow. Making money, not wasting it and using it to gain more money, in simple terms.
The most common way for us to generate money is to work, either employed or self-employed. Some people can’t do a regular job though and some people want a higher income than their job provides.
Thankfully there are many ways to generate an income either alongside or instead of working. Many are easy to do, and some require very little effort and most can be very flexible on time. Thanks to the power of social media it’s relatively easy find opportunities.
Here’s some examples: babysitting, car boot sales, dog walking, domestic cleaning, gardening, house sitting, ironing, local deliveries, making and selling crafts, pet holiday home service, proof reading, renting out a parking space, renting out a spare room, selling items on eBay/Facebook/Gumtree, selling your hair for wigs, sewing repairs and alterations, the list is endless.
This is the most common area where we fail to act wisely. It’s also the one where we have the most control over outcomes. We’ll put in huge amounts of effort to gain money and then give very little consideration on spending it. Conserving money well can be an absolute lifeline for those struggling to make ends meet and a huge benefit to those lucky enough to be saving or investing.
In simple terms it just means not wasting money. Don’t spend more on things than you need to, don’t spend on things you don’t need and avoid borrowing if at all because interest compounds the problem.
Some main areas for wastage are fees and interest on loans, unnecessary gadgets, utility bills, mobile phone contracts, TV/broadband packages, insurance policies, takeaways and scratch cards.
Avoid borrowing wherever possible, if you can’t afford it without borrowing it might be better to wait or choose a cheaper one. Review energy suppliers regularly, TV/broadband providers, mobile phone contracts and insurance policies every year. If you simply accept the renewal you will be overpaying. Unfortunately, there is no discount for loyalty, far from it, they will charge you extra unless you query it. Don’t buy gadgets you don’t need and keep a check on your avoidable spending like takeaways and scratch cards.
Regardless whether you have plenty of money or you’re struggling, conserving money will make a huge difference in the long run.
If you’re struggling to make ends meet, producing a proper income and expenditure list will really help you to identify the problem areas.
Assuming you’ve managed to generate some money and you’ve managed not to waste it all, you now have a great opportunity, free money!
We all need to save for a rainy day because it rains a lot in life. You need to build some emergency cash, so that you don’t need to borrow when things go wrong. You also need to save for retirement and the earlier you start the less you need to contribute each month.
The good news is that saving generates interest and interest makes your savings grow. Your emergency fund should be in an interest paying current account or instant access savings account. Longer term savings might be better in a Cash ISA (Individual Savings Account) or LISA (Lifetime Individual Savings Account) or a pension.
You can also take it to the next level and invest some of your savings which can generate a much better return on your money but there are risks involved. I’ve written a really simple guide called The Quick Guide To Easy Investing which I recommend reading if investing interests you.
Stockbroker, ISA, Junior ISA, Lifetime ISA, SIPP
Good information on passive investing
Information on ETFs
Pensions Dashboard Project
Government project to show all pension pots
Government pension information
The Money Advice Service
Debt, pension and general money advice
The Quick Guide to Easy Investing
- Everything you need to know if you want an easy investing solution.
- Clearly explains the very simple and proven strategy.
- Passive investing in a world index tracker fund.
- Suggests actual funds to suit anyone.
- Start with as little as £10 to invest.
- Takes less than half an hour to read.
- Completely free of charge to download and keep.
Sean Towers is the General Manager of Kudox, one of the largest central heating radiator suppliers in the UK. He has worked in the plumbing and heating industry for 34 years.
An active stock market investor and the author of Beginners Guide to Shares and The Quick Guide to Easy Investing.
Former chairman of the homeless charity Giving Back Crawley.
Relaxation and excitement come from riding his motorcycle on the weekends.
A relatively unremarkable person yet a passionate philanthropist.
The Oxford Dictionary defines philanthropy as ‘The desire to promote the welfare of others, expressed especially by the generous donation of money to good causes’.
Whilst I don’t disagree, my definition is a little simpler ‘Being lucky enough to have the opportunity to help someone else and acting upon it’.
I work hard for my money and once earned, I work equally hard investing my money. There aren’t many hours in the day that I’m not trying to make money. However, the most important thing I’ve learnt about money is that there’s no better way to spend it than helping someone else. I’m not rich by any measure but I have enough and if everyone who had enough, gave a little to those that don’t, everyone would have enough.
Lendwithcare is a revolutionary way to help some of the world’s poorest people work their way out of poverty with dignity. Lendwithcare allows you to lend as little as £15 to fund a small business and once your money is repaid you can choose to recycle your loan to support another entrepreneur or withdraw your money.
I’ve been lending since 2012 and I lend for two main reasons.
1) I’m helping people to help themselves. Giving them a chance to grow their own business.
2) Because it’s lending not giving, I’m able to inject significantly more cash than I could afford to give to a charity.
I am always happy to receive feedback and to answer any questions you might have. I do not offer any chargeable services whatsoever and I do not receive any commission or payments from anyone. Everything I do is completely free of charge and completely impartial.