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January is drawing to a close, and for many it’s probably been a tough month financially. We can all feel a little empty-pocketed after the Christmas spending, which means putting some money aside becomes the next big focus. One thing that’s important to remember is that you don’t have to just rely on your work income to be generating extra money this year, as there’s plenty of useful ways to make more cash on the side that won’t use up too much of your time either.
No matter what your plans are financially this year, you should start by making some ‘smart’ goals – that is, they should be specific, measurable, achievable, realistic, and time-based. There’s no point just saying “I will save money this year,” because how will you ever know if you achieved that? Do you mean over the course of the whole year or in a few months? Do you mean £100 or £10,000?
A better example of a smart goal would be something like, “I will put away £200 each month to save £800 in four months.” With a goal like this, you can clearly see if you’ve achieved it – and you don’t have to wait a whole year to see results!
Once you’ve outlined your goals as described above though, you need to work out the execution of them. That is, how are you going to save that money? Here’s a few tips on how you can make some extra revenue on top of your day-to-day job.
Whether it’s unwanted Christmas gifts or the winter jumper you’ve had accumulating dust in the wardrobe for years, a new year is a great time to clean out the things you’re no longer using. Many of these items can be sold on eBay or Facebook’s Marketplace for more than you may expect. If you no longer need your CD selection thanks to all the new technology around, you might as well make some money from it. Likewise, if you’re thinking of re-homing your wedding dress, they can go for hundreds of pounds – particularly if it’s from a sought after collection.
Many people have their energy and insurance providers, and never think to question if they’re getting the best deal possible. What they don’t realise is that you can save potentially hundreds of pounds by changing your provider. Better yet, Give as you Switch offers a service where you can also raise up to £17 for your favourite charity while switching providers. When you compare and switch your car, home, pet, bike, travel, van, breakdown, or energy provider with Give as you Switch, you can save an average of £144.99 per year.
The free service lets you enter details about yourself and the policy you want, and receive quotes from dozens of providers so you can compare premiums and features. You can also notify Give as you Switch of your renewal dates so you have plenty of time to make savings.
Do you have a skill you can do on a freelance basis? Or maybe a little extra free time to help with someone’s cleaning and minor repairs? Perfect! You can boost your savings with all kinds of tasks using sites such as Task Rabbit and Fiverr. These sites let you advertise your skills or what you can help with, allow you to set your hourly rate and the time you have available, match you with someone who needs a job done that fits with your skills, and off you go – complete the task and get paid for it too.
Did you know you can make money or vouchers by simply giving people your opinion? There’s so many survey sites, such as i-Say, Swagbucks, and Crowdology out there where you can make money by answering questions for market research. Some offer vouchers or credits rather than cash for your efforts, but they’re generally for retailers such as Amazon, M&S, John Lewis and more, so are still very useful.
These are just a handful of ways you can help make money and even give back to charity, on your own time and schedule. If you set clear, smart goals from the outset and enlist at least a few of these kinds of tools in your savings plan, you’ll be making progress in no time. Good luck!
Greg Hallett is managing director of Give as you Live.