Feeling the pinch? 8 money-saving hacks to stretch your monthly budget

According to the TUC, the UK is expected to be bottom of the wage growth league table this year, writes Tony Mills, Director, Uniform Tax Rebate.  So if your purse strings are feeling stretched, don’t pin your hopes on a salary increase anytime soon.

In fact, many individuals could even experience a 0.7 percent decrease in their earnings in 2018 alone.

Don’t fret; Tony Mills, Director at Uniform Tax Rebate gives 8 simple ways to stretch your pay check and advice on the extra money you could be entitled to at work…

1. Spend smart, save wisely

 First and foremost, put your money where it needs to be as soon as it comes in. Have a secondary account for your ‘fun’ money or withdraw a monthly allowance in cash. This will help ringfence the funds you need to pay for all your boring (but essential) fixed outgoings such as bills, contracts, rent and transport.

Money budgeting and saving apps – such as Monzo or Wally – can help by giving you real-time spending/saving data in easy to read graphs.

2. Check your tax entitlements

 It’s easy to ignore tax entitlements because they sound complicated, but you could have a lot to gain. Check out the UK Government’s webpage dedicated to tax relief for employees.

Believe it or not, you could even be due a tax rebate if you wear a uniform to work! If you’re required to wear branded clothing in the workplace, you could be due a one-off rebate (some have received thousands but the amounts vary depending on your job). You can also get a bit more in your pay packet every month. It only takes a couple of minutes online to check using an online calculator.

 3. Get clever with commuting

 To brighten your daily commute and make it cheaper, why not share it with a friend? Perhaps consider starting a lift-share scheme with work colleagues? Not only is this more environmentally friendly, you don’t have to share your commute with total strangers.

Live close to work and always stuck in traffic? Try cycling or walking in. While the British weather can’t be guaranteed, it’ll be cheaper, make you feel great and give you a free work-out.

 4. On the go coffee

 Picking up your morning skinny flat white from Starbucks every day could be costing you up to £660 a year! Either fill a travel cup using the next best supermarket equivalent or wait until you get to the office.

If you really can’t bear to say goodbye to your trusted barista, take your reusable cup in-store as many coffee shops offer around 20p-50p off each time.

 5. Keep track of work expenses

 It can be tricky to keep track of your work expenses. However, missing the cost of a client lunch here or a train fare there will add up in the long run.

Apps such as BizXpense Tracker and Concur Mobile make tracking easy, simply document your spend, snap your receipt and save. Do this on the go and claim back at the office to ensure you don’t miss out.

 6. Make use of workplace benefits

In the past year, nearly a third of organisations increased their overall employee benefits offerings in the quest for financially secure, happier and more productive employees.

Benefits like life insurance, subsidised memberships, Group Income Protection and private healthcare can help offer a safety net for life’s unexpected moments and assist in long-term financial planning too.

Make sure you find out which financial perks your company offers beyond your salary.

 7. Plan your weekday lunches

We all know how it goes… morning rush, forget lunch, meal deal. £3 a day might seem like a bargain but add this up and it’s a £75 monthly habit.

Put together a meal plan and head to the shops at the weekend. Preparing lunch the night before or making use of leftovers will save you time in the morning and precious pennies in the bank.

 8. Don’t overspend on workwear

 Try a cooling-off period. If you buy new workwear, hang it up somewhere visible. If you don’t wear it within two weeks, take it back for a refund. If you don’t love it enough to wear it straight away, then you never will.


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