In these strangest of times, it’s more important than ever before to keep on top of your personal finance. The only problem with that is, there are so many of us who have no idea where to start! Don’t worry however, as we’ve been scouring all of the best tips and tricks online to serve you up the seven best money hacks to improve your finances! Follow these guidelines and you’ll be saving cash in no time at all…

7. Use the 30-day rule for luxuries

We’ve all been in a position where we want something that costs a lot of money, but do we really need it? The 30-day rule should help you decide. If you’re looking to buy an item that’s not a necessity, then give yourself a 30-day period to think on the decision. If the month goes by and you still want the item, then indulge. If not? You made the right choice not making an impulse purchase!

6. Call your credit card provider

Many people don’t realise that you can get your interest rate reduced on most credit cards simply by calling your provider. The majority of the time, they won’t even ask you for a specific reason for reducing your rate; just picking up the phone will be enough to convince them that you’re in need of a helping hand. Their main priority will be to ensure you stick with them and don’t transfer your balance to another provider, so they’ll bend over backwards to do exactly that.

5. Make a meal plan

If you plan your meals for the week ahead, you’ve got a much better chance of getting through without spending a wad of cash on takeaways and fancy foods! Get some organic ingredients from the local store, look up some simple recipes online and put yourself to the test in the kitchen.

4. Swap your drinks for water

I understand the need for a little flavour in your life more than anybody, but make your tastier drinks go a little further and you’ll soon be saving cash. Drink mostly water throughout the day and you’ll not only hydrate your body and get cleaner skin, but you’ll ensure that your cordial, juices and sodas last longer than usual.

3. Use voucher codes and coupons

It’s a life hack that’s been around ever since we can remember, but still so many people don’t do their research on voucher codes and coupons before placing their orders. If doing the work is too much, then there’s an incredible browser extension called Honey which will do all of the heavy lifting for you at the click of a button. Make a note of how much you save each time in a single month, and by the time you come to adding it all up, your mind will be blown!

2. Join a cashback service

There are a number of different apps out there that allow you to get a percentage of your purchases back in a real monetary value. Instead of applying voucher codes, these services will simply pay you for making purchases through their affiliate links. They’ll get some cash for powering your trip to the website in question, then give you a chunk of it to ensure you keep coming back for more.

1. Write down all of your expenses and change your outgoings date

The most important money hack of all is to write down every single expense you have, so you can quickly figure out how much cash you have leaving your bank each month, and how much that leaves you with to spend on whatever you desire. The first time I wrote down my expenses I felt like a huge weight had been lifted from my shoulders. Once I knew what was going out of my bank, I’d ring each of the places taking direct debits from my account, and change their debit date to the exact same one. This meant I saw the entire total of my expenses go from my bank in the same day. Sad at first, but absolutely the best thing to do to ensure you don’t go over your limit each month!

MORE: Seven ways to save money if you’re working from home

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