Most of us would like to reduce our outgoings and put a bit more money away each month, so here are our tips to help cut out unnecessary spending.

Write a budget

Creating a monthly budget plan can seem like a hassle at first, but it is the most effective tool to track your spending. Once you know exactly what you’ve got coming in and what’s going out you’ll be able to start to control your finances. There are plenty of templates you can use to document your income and expenditure – let us know if you’d like us to send you one.

Reduce unnecessary spending

Once you’ve got a handle on your budget you can start to identify where you could reduce your spending. For instance, making up a packed lunch each day to take to work, rather than nipping to the local shop to buy sandwiches, will add up to quite a saving over a month.

You might also be able to save money on transport costs – and improve your health at the same time. It is reported that, on average, we spend £3,500 a year to run a car, whereas cycling would cost considerably less and walking would cost nothing.

Holidays can also vary wildly in price depending on the time of year you book. For example, in 2017, if you were to go to Miami in October rather than peak summer season, you could save on average £804.

Save more each month

Cutting out unnecessary expenses will free up some additional cash that you could use to boost your savings. If you don’t trust yourself to put money aside each month, make sure you set up (or increase) automatic deposits from your salary to go directly into savings.

When it comes to longer-term investments you’ll need to think about your attitude to risk. Investments with higher risk have the potential for a better return, but if you’re a cautious investor you may prefer to accept a potentially lower return for less risk to your

capital. Then there’s the issue of tax-efficient financial planning. If you’re able to contribute more into your pension, either through your employer’s scheme or via a private pension, this will help boost the pot available to you at retirement and you’ll benefit from the tax relief.

The value of your investment and any income from it may fall as well as rise. You may not get back the amount you originally invested.

HM Revenue and Customs practice and the law relating to taxation are complex and subject to individual circumstances and changes which cannot be foreseen.

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