4 simple finance tools you might not be taking advantage of

We all would love to make our lives easier, save more money, and make more money. There are some very basic and overlooked tools out there that you may not be taking advantage of. Take a quick through this list and consider using any one of these tools if you’re not already.

Pay yourself every month

You might already know this, but you can set up a standing order to yourself every month and effectively pay yourself money into a savings account. So bump up that monthly transfer to a higher limit that you can handle and you’ll be happy in 6 months when you realise how much more you’ve set aside. Take that savings account seriously and put that money into better investments for the future.

Online banking pie charts

Many online bank accounts have a spending report that you may not know about. Lloyds Bank, for example, has a pie chart facility where it categorises your payments and you can see how much goes where. You can also see your total income and outgoings for the whole month – so it’s a great tool to use to check that you’re not spending more than you earn.

Online payments

This one is pretty obvious, but if you’re not on the online payment wagon yet, you should be. Almost every bill you have regularly or payment you need to make can be paid online, Direct Debits and standing orders can be set up and it really does help automate that aspect of your life. You can also save money by going paperless – depending on who you’re with for gas and electric, they may give you a small discount for opting into online bills.

eBay/Gumtree/Shpock

It’s so easy to generate cash online that you’re crazy not to do it. If you have some old items that are still worth money and they are lying around, get them out of storage and let somebody else put them to good use. If you enjoy dealing in person or are selling a larger item, head down the Shpock or Gumtree route. Make sure you have a general idea for how much shipping will cost, realise that when you get paid via Paypal they may charge you a processing fee, and make sure you have a tracking number on the package so you can confirm it arrived.

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