The credit crunch is escalating out of control just as a snowball gathers momentum as its rolling down the side of a mountain. But have no fears the Millionaire Blog has some tips to beat the credit crunch at Christmas.
(1) Make Money from Home – If your main job is not providing enough money then consider creating additional income streams by working from home. Why not set up an account on Ebay and sell items you arent using anymore around the house. Perhaps you are good at making home made jewellery or building PC’s that you could sell for profits via Ebay. If you would rather make the money away from the Internet then consider selling your items at car boot sales / flea markets or through your local paper to increase your income. Perhaps you could offer car cleaning services to your local area. Think of a skill area that you are naturally good at. It doesnt need to be the same skill that you utilise in your full time job.
Working from home outside your normal job is also a good opportunity to grow your part-time business into something that could potentially become a full time business once its creating enough revenue to cover your main expenses (mortgage, bills etc). Think of this as the first step to escaping the rat race.
(2) Rent out a spare room or parking space – Rent out a spare room in your house or flat to a lodger to generate up to £4250 tax free a year. This doesn’t need to be permanent. Perhaps you could rent a room out for a year or two until you have enough money to clear your debts. If you have a parking space in your property that you dont use then consider renting out your parking space. People are willing to pay for parking spaces especially if you live close to a city or mainline rail or tube station. There are tons of sites available to rent out your parking space. One example is http://www.yourparkingspace.co.uk.
(3) Avoid Supermarkets unless absolutely necessary. If you are running low on essential items at home such as bread, milk or fruit then you should visit your local bakery, corner shop and fruit shop to stock up on these specific items. At the same time you are supporting your local trade and saving on a longer journey to the supermarket.
A visit to a supermarket will mean that a carton of milk and loaf of bread turns into a shopping trolley of other un-related products that catch your eye as soon as the supermarket gets you inside their store. Supermarkets spend thousands on marketing and know how to sell cross sell other products to the public. How many times have you gone to the supermarket for 1 item and come out with 10…?
Try to visit discount retailers such as pound shops to stock up on general household items at far lower prices than supermarkets. Other discount supermarkets such as LIDL and Aldi are worth visiting. These offer large discounts when you compare to the larger supermarkets.
(4) Shop Online – Shopping online for Christmas presents, gifts and any other product is the way to find the lowest price for the particular item that you are after. Thanks to search engines and price comparison tools you can easily compare prices across hundreds of websites. You also avoid all the long queues in the shops which cant be bad.
Use discount and voucher code websites such as myvouchercodes to obtain discount codes. Enter these codes when you finalise your online order to gain additional 5/10% + discounts off your order.
Also consider buying goods on Ebay. Often you will find that Ebay sellers sell the item cheaper than anywhere else online.
(5) Never Stay Loyal – Always review the contracts you have every year before you renew them. Compare and contract the deal you are being offered with their competitors. This includes your Car Insurance, House Insurance, Gas Provider, Electricity Provider, Mortgage, Bank Account, Savings Accounts, Car Service Cost, Car Breakdown Recovery Service, Telephone Provider, Internet Provider etc etc.
There are also several sites that make the process of switching providers easy such as uswitch.com.
(6) Entertain yourself but keep costs low – Find ways of entertaining yourself that dont mean you will be spending large amounts of money. Join a Cinema club such as the Unlimited scheme at Cineworld where for £12 a month you can watch as many movies as you wish. If you visit the Cinema every weekend this is a real bargain.
Go for walks in the countryside, join a local gym (if the price is right) and keep yourself busy. Any time spent out of the shops is time well spent. It is far easier to manage your costs when you have a set monthly fee rather than going out and spending large sums of money each month as one-off expenses.
(7) Switch your telephone to Voice Over IP – If you havent already then switch your telephone service to Voice Over IP. There are still hundreds of people who are using standard digital services. You can save a fortune by switching to VOIP. Read more about this here.
(8) Grow your own food – If you have your own garden then why not grow your own food. First of all you will be getting fresh organic vegetables and secondly you will be reducing the cost of your food shopping bill every year. Seeds are very low cost and the work you invest will only be physical which is good for your health as well.
(9) Make Money Online – Make money online using various strategies.
You can use a free site such as blogger.com to create a blog and then insert adverts such as google adsense into your website to create some income.
You could buy desirable domain names and then sell them at a later day for profit. Before you sell them you could utilise parking services such as namedrive to generate income from your domain name through domain parking.
Develop your own money making website or find a developer to help you develop an idea that you have for a website. You can source programmers on sites such as getacoder.com.
(10) Utilise Cash Back Cards – Whenever you can utilise cash back cards such as the American Express Platinum Card. The current deal means that for the first 3 months you get 5% cash back on all purchases (max of £200) at which point the card reverts back to 1.5% cashback. If you are paying off the card every month then you are actually getting money back for nothing so its definitely worth using.
(11) Consider House Swap Holidays – Consider house swapping holidays where by you swap your house with another family in another part of the world for your annual holiday. As you will be trading houses the only cost will be the air fare which means you can afford to spend your holidays in far more exotic locations. There are several websites that specialise in house swaps one of them being homeforexchange.com.
(12) Cut Down on Luxuries – You may be surprised how much you can save by cutting down on luxury items. Cutting out that daily Latte for example could save you £500 a year. Think about making sandwiches rather than buying lunch while you are in the office. Avoid the chocolate machines. Stop buying that daily newspaper and read the new via their website instead. Reduce the amount of branded goods you are buying and instead purchase unbranded products. Some items are similar but branded differently. For example Nurofen (for headaches) is relatively expensive where by you can buy a similar product (Ibuprofen – also for headaches ) for a fraction of the price.
So tighten your belts ladies and gentleman and keep holding on.
The credit crunch will not be going away for a while. Please feel free to suggest any other tips of how to beat the credit crunch.