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Managing Money is Easier than Making It

It’s hard to earn money so if you can save it first and then manage it, money might turn into capital. Once you’ve got capital, you’ve got another source of income!

These are 10 little things that I started doing last year to manage money better because managing money is easier than making money. I like doing things the easy way and if there are things I can do to manage money and make money better, I will. It’s hard to earn money so if you can save it first and then manage it, money might turn into capital. Once you’ve got capital, you’ve got another source of income!

1. Clean up the extra opportunities: when I worked in a gym, there were opportunities with the sales team to make extra money (at an hourly rate) by handing out fliers or advertising so I did that. In the picture below, I made money doing a hill race in my local village because I wore the t-shirt of the gym. There was also a £50 voucher for winning employee of the month – when I spoke to management, they said it was tied between two people and no-one else had voted so I went around and canvassed a few more votes to win. At the time, that was a day’s wages and all it took to ‘earn’ was a couple of extra conversations! Now, at KPMG I can make money by referring people to apply with a cash pay-out if my referrals get employed and stay for three months.

2. Use intro offers to save money: for work I get sent in and out of London and to keep me sane, I need to exercise. So, if I do a class outside of Reading (where my gym is) I will often sign up for intro offers for cheap/free classes. This only works if you cancel in time. For example, a gym in London offered classes for £14 each if I booked with them directly. By signing up to ClassPass, I got four classes at the same gym for the same classes for free during a trial with ClassPass. But you must cancel ClassPass three working days before the two-week trial runs out via chat which is only available on a laptop (not on a phone) to avoid the £50 monthly payment. So, it’s only worth it if you put in the time and read the contract too.

3. Do some things for free: when I went to graduate in November, the local paper was looking for interviewees from the area. I told my story, got some nice high-resolution pictures, and then requested a £30 refund from the official photographer because the pictures from the paper were nicer and free. I also write for free quite regularly. For example, I wrote a blog post for KPMG and the University of Aberdeen because it creates certified content for my LinkedIn - it's the same content that got put out across both organisations so once the article as written, there wasn't much extra effort. Doing some activities for free can either save cash or create value in the long run.

4. Use intro offers to make money: For LinkedIn, I joined the free trial to access the messaging app on premium to research profiles and get in touch with people in order to refer them to KPMG and the Tax Academy. I will cancel the free month a week before the trial ends to avoid being charged. I don’t need premium access all the time, just to try and make the money from the KPMG referral scheme.

5. Know cash flow: cash flow is king in business and personal life. I check my online accounts once a week and use Monzo which gives me a play by play break down of where my money goes.

6. Share discount codes: if you find one that works or get given one you don’t use – pass it on. I got one for Missguided when I bought lip balm and wasn’t going to use it so passed it on to my little sister – I’ve no idea if she used it but it’s worth sharing.

7. Round up your spending: so, with Monzo I can set the card to round up my purchases to the nearest £1 which collects on my card. I had £120 after about 6 months!

8. Invest spare change: so, with this spare change from Monzo rounding up my purchases, I linked the money I saved to ‘MoneyBox’ which is an investment app. In addition to investing my spare change from Monzo, I add a weekly deposit of £2 (less than a coffee) with an £18 monthly payment (less than my gym membership).The current value of my investments are £198.09 which is an earning of £1.09 for doing nothing.

9. Understand different ways of managing money: the value of my investments can go up and down which is why I only invest spare change, my credit card is for bigger purchases and gets paid off to make sure I have a good credit history, and my savings account takes a direct debit from my current account like it does with rent and my phone bill.

10. Read the small print: my credit card gave me the ability to make a minimum £25 repayment per month with a spending limit of £1,500+/month without occurring extra fees. This was useful when I was moving job and had to put large expenses on a credit card like flights. Essentially, I could spend £1,500/month on my credit card and pay off £25/month with no charges for a year. But this introductory offer it ends this year and mid-way through a month.

It’s only a good deal to be able to borrow that 'extra' money if it’s all cleared by the time the offer runs out and if the habit of not paying off a credit card every month is reversed to avoid fines. It takes a while reading the small print to pull out the benefits of things. For example, at work, when I read the policy and small print on work benefits, I learned that I can get a railcard refunded. That's another £30 back to me! Small print doesn't have to be a pain in the ass.

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