Managing your finances is one of the most difficult skills you can learn. Whether it’s impulse spending after a windfall or just plain poor money management, many of us are struggling with our finances, and it’s nothing to be ashamed of. There’s no reason you can’t make 2022 the year that you pledge to manage your money better, and we’re here to help you do just that. From buying better to finding alternative sources of income, there’s almost always something else you could be doing when it comes to money.
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10 Financial Hacks You Can Try in 2022
1. Take out a loan
No, really. We know it might not sound like the best idea if you’re already struggling with money management, but taking out a loan could actually help you. If you have a bad credit score, for example, then looking into bad credit loans could help you boost your score by letting you make prompt, regular repayments. Another way loans could help is if you’re struggling with disparate sources of debt. Using a consolidation loan could help you keep better track of your repayments, thus helping you to pay your debt off.
2. Make a strict budget
Many people struggle to manage their finances because they don’t have a budget to help them do so. Creating a budget is difficult, but it’s a necessary step if you want to gain a full understanding of your finances. Take into account everything you earn on a monthly basis and everything you’re spending regularly. Note all of these expenses and incomes down, then weigh them up against each other. That’s the basis of your budget, and it should inform your spending going forward.
3. Look for bargains
No matter what you need to buy, there’s a very good chance that at some point, it will be on sale. You can find bargains by browsing online ecommerce and retail sites, where you’ll often find more deals than in physical stores. You can also swap your regular branded food shop for supermarket own-brand alternatives. They’re usually just as good as the brands, and they frequently cost much less as well. Be sure to shop around for the same item, too; it’ll often be cheaper somewhere else.
4. Pick up a side hustle
We know that “get a second job” doesn’t necessarily sound like an innovative financial hack, but there are lots of side hustles you can do that won’t take up too much of your time. The ideal side hustle is one that you can work on alongside a day job; tutoring, web design, and graphic design are all excellent examples of things you can do while working a more demanding, time-consuming job. Think about your skills and ask yourself if you could use them to grab a second source of income.
5. Sort through your stuff and sell what you don’t need
“But I might need it later” is a phrase that has been uttered by many of us, but the fact is that for the most part, the thing we’re worrying about is something we will never need again. There are lots of ways to sell the things you no longer need, and which one you want to use will depend on what you’re selling. Using eBay is always a good option, but if you know someone close to you who needs the thing you’re selling, be sure to sell directly to them to avoid fees.
6. Don’t use credit cards
If you’re thinking of picking up a credit card, we’d strongly caution against doing so. Credit cards can be a real money sink, and even if you go with a reputable and dependable provider, there could still be lots of hidden fees and charges you aren’t made aware of when you sign up. If you want to keep an eye on your finances, it’s important to know everything you’re spending and gaining, with no insidious credit card charges sneaking up on you.
7. Set up investments
Investing might seem difficult and daunting, but the truth is that anyone can do it. Many stockbrokers and other professionals will try to tell you that it’s too hard for the layman; this is because they directly profit if you avail yourself of their services. You can invest with any amount of money, although some investment funds and options will ask you for a minimum amount before you open an account. Investing needn’t be difficult, and it can be a great source of income if you’re smart.
8. Cancel unwanted subscriptions
You’d be amazed by just how many subscription services make most of their money from people who completely forget to cancel 30-day free trials or other offers. Cancelling subscriptions is something all of us should do on a regular basis, but we frequently forget. This is forgivable; everything is moving towards a subscription-based economy, and so forgetting to cancel one of the many subscriptions we have is understandable. Still, you should comb your accounts and check for unwanted subs on a regular basis.
9. Start saving
2022 is the perfect time to start amassing savings (if you have the disposable income to do so, of course). Around 6.5% of British people haven’t built up any savings, so if you haven’t yet begun to save, you’re not alone. However, saving for your future is an important thing to do if you can spare the money, so make sure to set a little aside each month for your savings. This way, you’ll have a fund to dip into if you find yourself at a loss.
10. Shop around for jobs
Don’t let yourself settle into the job you’re doing if you want to make more money. There could be an opportunity out there for someone with your skillset that pays better than your current position, so keep an eye out. Don’t be too overt with it; obviously, most employers don’t like to think that their employees are constantly searching for new jobs. Still, make sure you’re glancing at job sites now and then to keep on top of vacancies you could be applying for.