IM Lending

Loans and lending guide.

There are many areas of our household spending that it is possible to cut and the food shop is probably one of the easiest. We have to buy food, so we will always need to spend money, but there are ways that we will be able to reduce what we pay out, which can help us to more easily be able to manage our other bills, loan repayments and rent.

Compare prices

It is wise to compare the prices of the items that you are buying when you are shopping. It can be so easy just to put all of our normal items into the trolley without looking at the prices at all. However, if you start to look at prices you will begin to see how much they can vary. Between branded and unbranded goods the price difference can be pretty big for a start. You may like certain brands but it is good to try cheaper ones every so often and see whether you can tell any difference. Doing a blind taste test between the two can be a really good way to tell whether you really prefer one over the other. If you know which is which they you may just think you will prefer your usual one and it will bias your opinion.

Comparing prices will mean that your shop takes a bit longer, especially if they are hard to compare, but it can be worth it. You may need to take a calculator for some as you may find that some veg are priced per item and others per 100g and so in order to compare the price properly you may have to weigh the single items and calculate the price per 100g so that you can compare properly.

Use the cheapest retailer

It can be easier to just visit the cheapest retailer and then you will know that you are paying the least you can. Of course, the cheapest retailer is not the same for everyone, it will depend on the sort of things that you buy. There Is a comparison website mysupermarket.com which you can use though. You can put in a typical shop and it will let you know how much that will cost in various paces. This is very handy, but you need to bear in mind that some items will not be available in all supermarkets and they may not have equivalents. If this is the case then the bill may be artificially low because those items are not included. Therefore, you will need to analyse it carefully. You should though, be able to see whether there would be a significant difference if you went elsewhere. It could mean that you will need to get a majority of your things in one place and then go elsewhere for the bits and pieces you cannot get there. This could be annoying and it may cost you more in fuel to have to travel to several places. Consider whether you are happy doing this. It might okay if you need to get things which you can stock up on such as tins so you only have to visit the other supermarket occasionally but if you need to go often then it may not be worth it.

Reduce food waste

Many of us waste food because we buy more than we need or do not eat it quickly enough and it goes off so we have to throw it away. If you can stop doing this, then you will be able to save the money that you would have spent on the food. If you make sure that you plan your meals and only buy what you need for those, this will help. Also make sure that you use foods up as they are starting to get close to their use by date. Check the fridge before meals and then use the food that needs to be used up rather than just randomly using things. Some foods can be frozen and so check if they are close to their use by date and freeze them so that they do not need to be wasted.

Buy less processed foods

Processed foods such as pre made meals, cereals and snacks are expensive compared to making those items yourself. Not only will you save money but it will also be healthier to make these meals yourself as well. This means that you will benefit in two ways. It can be convenient to buy ready made meals as it can to order take away food or eat out but normally it is healthier and significantly cheaper to cook yourself. It will take time but it is possible to cook a meal in 10-20 minutes and it can be very satisfying knowing that you made it yourself. You could make large batches and put some in the fridge or freezer to have another time and that will save you time in the kitchen.

There are many ways to make money online, but you do need to know where to find them. There are also scams and it is also important to know how to avoid these.

Freelance work

There are sites online where you can pick up freelance work. These can be very helpful and you can find a big range of work on sites like this. You may pick up things like freelance writing, graphics, programming and even admin work. They are a great way for those seeking work to meet those that need employees. You will often need to submit your CV and then apply for various jobs on the sites. There will be employers from all over the world and you will also be competing with workers worldwide, which means that the pay rates might be quite low. You will need to be prepared to get paid in US dollars as well as that tends to be the universal online currency. However, if you get paid into Paypal then you can easily convert it before you transfer it into your bank account. You will need a Paypal account to keep payments secure as it is probably not wise to give out your bank details to strangers to get BACs payments. Some freelancing websites have an escrow system which protects employers and employees. This means that the employer has to put the money into an account held by the website owners and they will release it when the work has been submitted. Sometimes it is released in instalments, depending on how much money there is.

Selling things

Selling things online is a way that a lot of people make money. You can sell things that you own and no longer need, perhaps through auction websites or social media selling groups. This can be a good way of decluttering and raising a little bit of money. However, many people will make a lot more by selling as business. They might sell things that they make, perhaps because they have monetised their hobby. They might buy things to sell on and perhaps have online shops on their own websites or use shops within other websites or use auction sites. There are many different options and it is well worth doing research first. You will want to make sure that the site has similar items to the ones you are selling on it, because it will mean that you know that there will be customers for your items. Consider the costs of selling as well, which will not only include fees for listing items and selling them on others sites but also the payment processing costs, postage and packaging costs and the costs of buying the stock. You will need to make sure that you can sell the items for enough money to cover all of those costs and provide you with some profit or else it is not worth bothering at all.

Own website

Some people make money form having their own website, blog or social media pages. There are different ways of making money from these but mostly it is form advertising revenue. If you get enough visitors looking at your page then advertisers will be keen to advertise on your site. They will probably only pay you for any click throughs they get form the advertisements on your page, although all advertising does work differently so it will depend on how you organise it. Although some people do well through this sort of thing, many people try and do not do well or make nothing at all. You need to make sure that you can slot into the market and do not have too many competitors. It can be a lot of hard work to be able to get to a stage where you are making a significant amount of money.

Spotting scams

Sadly, there are scams out there. They are not always that easy to spot but there are some rules that you should follow. Never give any money to a website before you get any work. There is no reason why you should pay them, they should be paying you. Read reviews of the site before you sign up or ask people you know whether there are sites that they have used and would recommend. If you have a feeling that the site is not legitimate, then avoid it. There are plenty of sites that will pay.

So, although there are plenty of ways to make money online, including those listed, you do need to be careful. There are scams out there and even if you find genuine paid work, it may not be paid as well as a more conventional job. It can be a very convenient way to work though, especially if you would rather work from home or if you need to work from home so that you can look after family. Just make sure that the job you get will pay enough to cover all of your expenses and that you can manage without having to borrow money.