OK, the title may be a bit incorrect: you shouldn’t forget the pennies altogether. Those small savings you can make from switching to cheaper brands and so on can add up to real savings if they’re spread over a long enough period. But if you want to save some serious cash, and quickly, then it’s high time you look at the big expenses – the ones that really eat into your annual budget. If you can slash the cost of these expenses, or think about them differently, then you’ll see that savings account moving in the right direction.

Source: Pexels.com

Your Monthly Food Bill

UK households have always had to spend a large part of their salary on one of the basic requirements of living – eating food. And last year saw an additional percentage rise, as supermarkets ditched their promotions and a strong euro raised the cost of imports. If you’re still just wandering into the supermarket and picking up whatever you want off the shelf, then it’s time to rethink your strategy. Planning your meals and making a shopping list can dramatically cut the cost of your food bill – sometimes by as much as a third. Calculate how much you’re currently spending each month, and you’ll see that it’s not an insignificant amount of money!

The Essentials

Along with food, the other two big areas where Britons are spending their money is their housing and transportation. When it comes to your vehicle, you can usually get a much better deal by leasing your car from a company like Intelligent Car Leasing than by buying it outright; you’ll still have a car in your life, but it’ll cost you much less per month. If petrol is your issue, then step out of the driver’s seat from time to time. Public transport in the UK is very good and means you won’t be burning money (petrol) or having to pay for parking.

Avoidable Extras

It’s nice to have a few luxuries in our lives, but the reality is that things like a weekly trip to the pub and the like can cost our wallets dearly. Take a look at how much you’re spending on things like restaurants and alcohol, and you might just discover that you could have much more money in your bank account if you reduced these costs. Try and find other ways to entertain yourself at the weekend; hosting a dinner party or curling up on the couch are no poor alternatives to heading out – and you’ll be thankful for your decision when it comes to checking how much money you have left at the end of the month.

Matched Saving

No-one’s going to stop buying things like televisions, smartphones, and other modern tech. But if you do, consider putting the equivalent of however much you spend into a savings account. It might just make you think twice about parting with the cash, but if you do go ahead and buy, then at least you’ll also be making a wise financial decision at the same time.

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I have always enjoyed a flutter, and am a firm believer, that like most things, if done in moderation gambling can be a lot of run.

When I was much younger (much, much, younger) I lived in New Jersey, and on occasion on a weekend, we would jump in a car, hit the interstate and end up in Atlantic City for a night of laughs, poker chips and 21.

As I have matured in age, my gambling habits have altered.  It has been an eternity since I visited a casino, but I can’t think of a more fun day than hitting the horse track, or on occasion, going to watch greyhounds run merrily after a rabbit. If I can’t get to the track, but I have a decent tip, I can always see all the latest horse racing results here.   I am hoping that when the children grow up, and nights out become more extravagant, a trip to Vegas will eventually be on the cards.

A bit of history….

Gambling has been prevalent in the UK for an eternity, it is certainly not a new thing.  Although what many people don’t know is that from 1853 to 1960, there was a prohibition on off course horse betting*.

This ensured that off course horse betting became bigger business than ever and by 1939, along with the pools and greyhound racing, it was one of the most popular forms of gambling.  The working class ignored the law, perceiving it as an inconvenience rather than an enforceable legal term, and gambling continuing to be a unifying activity against the lower classes.

Betting shops are firmly encased in our nation’s history, the streets are littered with them.  The store front shops plus online sites contribute over £30bn to the UK economy.  It is serious business.  Betting shops were first legalised in 1961, and within six months of the law being passed, over 10,000 had opened.  Interestingly, William Hill, an iconic name in UK gambling history, was reluctant to join the betting shop brigade, and waited five years before opening their first shop in 1966.

My own experience

I am a thrill seeker, I like adrenalin, and I like to walk a bit on the wild side (with a safety net).  Going to the races is an enjoyment from start to finish.  The planning, the outfit, the reading of the score card, the checking the odds, and trying to guess winners.  It all never fails to ignite exciting anxiety in me, and god help the crowds when I chose a winner.

At Ascot, a few moons ago, I was on a losing trail.  Despite working out form, and spending forever reading up on jockey and pony, I was losing my £2 each way bets and becoming frustrated.  So I changed tack, and chose on name.  Not my usual style and odds of 26:1.

The race began, I leaned with reluctant fear over the barrier and began to cheer on my rider, believing him to not have a hope in hell.  Then my jaw started to drop as he galloped on from last in the pack, to the middle, then was nose to nose with the leading racehorse.  I cheered with the enthusiasm of a mad man, cried out until my throat hurt, I motivated that horse with everything I had.

And it only went and won!

It wasn’t about the money, it was the feeling, the emotion, the excitement of claiming my prize.

And then spending it on Champagne afterwards…..

My love of the race didn’t lead to addiction.  I won a bit more, lost a bit less, drank bubbles and smiled all day.

As I said, all things in moderation can lead to a ridiculous amount of fun.

 

Sources

http://wrap.warwick.ac.uk/2825/

http://www.independent.co.uk/sport/racing/our-national-love-affair-a-history-of-the-betting-shop-804966.html

 

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Credit

Are you concerned that your family is close to the breadline at the moment? Would you like to achieve financial freedom and pay for the finer things in life? Then you just need to take a look at some of the advice on this page and work out which idea appeals most to you. With a bit of luck, these suggestions will assist you in turning your situation around and ensuring you keep your bank manager happy this year. While you don’t have to choose any of the ideas from this article, they should help to ensure you walk the right path and leave no stone unturned in your pursuit of a better life for your family.

Start a low-investment business

Firstly, it’s vital you understand there are lots of business concepts out there that don’t require thousands of dollars of investment. For instance, you might consider launching an online retailer that drop-ships from established companies. You might also start a company that offers services to other business owners. In that instance, you would only have to worry about the cost of setting up your website and putting it in front of the people who matter most. So, now is the best time to begin your research. Look for a business concept you can manage, and replicate it. Either that or you can come up with something original.

Make money from property

There are many ways in which you could make some income from the property market. Just check out some realty mogul reviews or those from other experts if you want to understand your funding options. Once you purchase homes, there are a couple of options on the table. You could improve the properties and then sell them for a profit. However, you could also keep hold of the houses and rent them out to tenants. The latter solution will require more work, but it could also become more fruitful in the long run.

Clear your debts

Saving money is just as good as making money in many instances, and that is why you should work hard to pay all your debts this year. If you can clear the balance on your accounts, there is a decent chance that you will save hundreds of dollars. There are many ways you could go about achieving that goal. For example, you might decide to opt for a debt consolidation arrangement that means you write off a significant percentage of the money you owe. Just search Google and read as much as possible until you find a solution that will work for you.

Now you know some excellent ways of turning your financial situation around this year; nothing should stand in your way. You just need to research your options as much as possible and then put a plan of action in place. With a bit of luck, you will find that your family has a lot of cash left in the bank by this time next year. Maybe you could use that to pay for an exotic vacation or something similar?

 

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Students exist in families all across the globe, and if you have a teen, chances are you’re sending them off soon to fulfill their dreams. However, there’s a lot of steps between now and then which they’re going to have navigate as expertly as they can, relying on your guidance to keep them on the straight and narrow. View Post

We all love the leisurely side to our gardens; kicking back, relaxing and enjoying the sun on those rare British summer days. But when it comes to finding the time and money to maintain it, we’re not so keen. Often neglected, the garden tends to be thought of as the least important area of the home. However, as the first impression for our guests, do we really want to greet them with an overhaul of weeds and overgrown grass? Thought not – so how can we save money on maintenance? View Post