Autumn Budget 2018: give yourself a Budget Day makeover

If Chancellor Philip Hammond held few giveaways for you, why not give your own finances a Budget Day makeover?

Chancellor Philip Hammond has delivered his latest Budget speech.

While there were a couple of giveaways to curry favour with the voting public, in truth the Budget contained very little that’s going to dramatically improve your life.

The good news is it’s possible to give your own finances a massive boost.

Read on to see our top steps for increasing your income.

Earn a great rate of interest on your cash with these current accounts

Give yourself a spending cut

The first thing to look at is how much you’re spending each month.

Write down exactly much money is coming in and going out. Don’t leave anything out – otherwise, you won’t know the full picture.

Have a read of this guide on how to budget in five simple steps if you want a little more info.

If you’re spending more than you’re earning, then you definitely need to take action.

Even if you’re not, you should look at whether you can make cutbacks.

These could be temporary or they could be permanent, such as switching where you do your food shopping, cancelling magazine subscriptions, ditching a gym membership you never use or taking a packed lunch to work.

Save on your travel

For commuters

The latest Budget did little to assuage the pressure on commuters.

If you have a costly commute, either by road or rail, are there any opportunities to drive down what you spend?

If you're a driver, could you work from home at all to save on fuel costs? Or share your journey with friends or colleagues? Could you walk, run or cycle part of the journey?

If you're a rail commuter, could you take advantage of a split season ticket, where you buy two or more separate tickets for different parts of your journey to save money, even though you're travelling to and from the same place?

Bear in mind that it's only legal if the trains you travel on stop at the place(s) where you've split your ticket.

For example, instead of getting a season ticket from station A to station B, you buy two season tickets, one from station A to station C, and one from station C to station B.

There isn't a decent split ticketing website or app for season tickets so it's a case of doing some playing around with the National Rail Enquiries season ticket calculator.

Local knowledge is also invaluable here too so ask your fellow commuters.

For motorists

For motorists, there are many things you can do to slash your costs by far more than the savings on Fuel Duty announced by the chancellor.

For starters, you can make sure you pay the absolute minimum for your petrol or diesel you use.

Next, you could consider slightly more creative options to cut motoring costs. For example, you could sell advertising space on your car.

It might be unsightly, but, as we wrote about in more detail here, it could earn you up to £300 a month.

That surely makes it worth a trial.

Finally, you could look into car sharing (perhaps with a co-worker, or another parent on the school run?).

If you don’t know anyone personally, take a look at websites like CarShare.

Earn a great rate of interest on your cash with these current accounts

Make money from your home

If you have a spare room, you can rent it out tax-free using the Government’s Rent A Room scheme, providing you don’t make more than £7,500 in any one tax year.

If you fancy something less permanent, why not try the likes of Airbnb, which advertises rooms for short stays?

If you have parking space at your home and you live near a town centre or local amenity, such as a rail or underground station, airport or football stadium, you could rent out your driveway.

Sites such as JustPark and Parklet can advertise your space and deal with the admin for a monthly fee.

Similarly, if you've got space to spare, why not rent it out? So if you've got a spare shed/loft, advertise it on Spareground and see if you get any takers.

If your garden is of no use to you, it might be useful to someone else.

Check out Spareground to see whether there's any interest – perhaps someone could use your garden to grow their own fruit and veg?

Search for a cheaper mortgage

Claim all your benefits

If you’re entitled to benefits such as Tax Credits, make sure you’re claiming them.

Similarly, if you have children, don’t miss out on Child Benefit and Child Tax Credits.

If you're a pensioner, you could be entitled to Pension Credit if your income is below a certain level, but you'll need to claim it yourself.

You can find out more about all of these benefits on the GOV.UK website.

Retired an in debt? How to boost your income

Try a few one-off money spinners

All the above suggestions should help boost your income over the long term.

That done, now’s the time to focus on a few quick wins. Switching bank accounts could pocket you up to £200,

Grabbing a top cashback credit card could earn you an extra £125 by paying for things you were going to buy anyway.

This really is just the tip of the money-making iceberg. Read our comprehensive guide to making extra cash.


Be the first to comment

Do you want to comment on this article? You need to be signed in for this feature

Copyright © All rights reserved.