Saving money is increasingly difficult – in fact, recent studies show that millions of us have less than £100 saved – meaning there’s often no financial ‘buffer zone’ in case of money emergencies.
So, with little chance to put money away, the thought of laying on a Mediterranean beach covered in sweet smelling sun cream with a cold drink in our hand is painfully far from reality for most people – but it doesn’t have to be.
Most of us don’t realize that we’re either sat on money – or we’ve got the ability to quickly make money. One of more of these ideas will almost certainly apply to you:
#1 – Start selling
You might look around you and think you’ve got nothing that anyone would want – but you’re wrong. A quick glance over social media selling pages will prove to you that everything is worth something to someone – whether it’s that bike that’s collecting dust in the garage or those slightly beaten up trainers you don’t wear anymore, there’s a market for it.
Not only can you sell your own stuff – but finding products that you can sell on will make you a mini-social media entrepreneur. Have you got a flare for upcycling? Maybe you can spot a designer bargain in a charity shop? Or could you repair other’s broken items and sell them working?
Make sure you put away everything you make – and that beach or ski-slope will come quicker than you think.
#2 – Claim what’s yours
You’re probably sick of hearing about Payment Protection Insurance (PPI) claims now – but there’s a shocking amount of people who are owed significant amounts of money but aren’t doing anything about it.
People’s most common misconception is that they were never sold a PPI policy, but – as this article and infographic from Have I got PPI UK shows, there were an estimated 50 billion policies sold – and many of them were invisibly incorporated into monthly payments – without the knowledge of the person signing up.
There’s a very good chance you’re owed some money – and the average payout for a PPI claim is between £2,500-£3,000 – which puts you well on the way to white sand beaches and clear blue seas. If you haven’t looked into a claim, do it soon – as there’s now a deadline in place.
#3 – Get a tax rebate
Hundreds of thousands of people pay the wrong amount of tax each year – and there’s no one reason why meaning there’s every chance you’re due money back from HM Revenue and Customs.
Your tax code is the place to begin your rebate hunt – that’s the 5 digit code that you’ll find on your payslip, P45 or P60. The code is an indication of how much money you can earn before you start paying tax. Incorrect codes are the sources of almost all overpayments.
If there’s been any paperwork issues between employers – or human error at any stage, you might have been put in an emergency or ‘base-rate’ tax code – meaning there’s a chance you’ve been paying well above and beyond what’s required. The good news is that it often takes HMRC a while to spot errors themselves – so you might have been overpaying for some time.
If you’re not sure you can always ask your company’s payroll department if your code looks correct. Either way, you can seek guidance from HMRC. Give yourself plenty of time as their lines are usually very busy – but it’ll be worth the wait when you’re boarding the plane on your way to sunshine!
#4 – Start a ‘side hustle’
Our 21st century connected world gives us countless opportunities to make money that our parent’s generation never had. Take advantage and you could turn a few spare hours each week into cold hard cash – or, even better, time on a beach or relaxing in a pool.
Social media is a great place to start. Do you have a hobby, pastime or skill that would benefit others? Start putting it out there.
Can you whizz up a healthy meal for less than £5? Do you have photography skills that make others envious? Can you write about your hobby in a way that makes people want to read?
No matter what you can do, there are people who’ll want to read, watch and learn from you – whether that’s by reading your blog, watching your YouTube videos or visiting your website and social pages.
When you’ve built a following you can turn that into cash – whether you’re planning on charges others to use your skills – or making some advertising revenue from the people who enjoy what you do. Zero technical experience required – and all money earned can go into that holiday fund!
#5 – Create (and stick to) a budget
There are few words that sound like they’re going to take the fun out of life quite as much a ‘budgeting’ – but in reality, drawing up a budget can be the difference between money worries – and a life or nice purchases and luxury holidays.
They key is how the pennies and pounds add up. For example:
- A takeaway and bottle of wine for 2 will add up to around £30.
- A fancy coffee each workday will cost you around £2.50.
- Not getting the best deal on your car insurance will cost you an extra £10 a month.
Add all of those things up over the course of 1 year and bingo; that’s £2,330 you could save by having a stir-fry, taking a pot of instant coffee to work and spending 10 minutes on an insurance comparison site.
Now, everyone’s different, but there are hundreds of little things like this each of us can do to shave a few pounds off our lifestyle here and there – and this is proof that you can live on a budget without sacrificing quality of life.
Tiny daily changes can add up to a wonderful suntan when you stick to them all year!
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