Five simple steps to increase your disposable income in 2014

by Marissa on January 30, 2014

2014 is already in full flow and many of us have already broken our New Year’s resolutions. But that’s fine, because it doesn’t mean you can’t try again with renewed determination. January can be one of the most stressful months of the year, especially with financial worries following the festive period’s expensive outlays. So here are five simple steps to increase your disposable income in 2014, and even beyond…

Meal planning

This is one of the best ways to save money, and reduce the amount of food that you throw out due to it passing its use by date. Make a meal plan where you only buy what you need and make life easier by being a bit more organised. Start with sticking to a weekly shop. Doing one shop a week already means that you will save money on impulse buys. We’ve all done it, go in for a loaf of bread and come out with a basket full of things we think we might need and throw half of it away by the end of the week. Make a meal plan, buy only what you need and stick to it. If you have time then make some of your meals after your shop, freeze the portions and reheat when you want them – saving you time too.

spaghetti-bolognese

Kicking the tobacco habit

If you’re a smoker this will save you a lot of money. Switch to  e-cigarettes and e-cigarettes’, and you can save around £2,500 a year if you are a 20 a day smoker. Other options include nicotine patches, nicotine mouth spray and hypnotherapy. You also might be able to save money on your health and life insurance policy.

Cancelling memberships and subscriptions

Unless you use them, of course… But if you have a gym membership and you’re paying monthly and not going then cancel it. Having it there just in case doesn’t mean that you will use it and if you’re not motivated to attend even whilst losing money then you need to address the situation. Same goes for magazines. If you pay a subscription but find that you put them down intending to read them and haven’t by the time the next issue or the one after that turns up then you know what to do!

gym guy

Higher interest bank accounts

This one can take a bit of time researching as there aren’t always many worthwhile one’s about but if you have savings then they may as well work for you. If you don’t want to risk investing in stocks and shares then this is a safer and more secure option. A fixed rate ISA can attain interest monthly or annually. However, this is on the condition that you can’t withdraw the funds for a number of years so be sure you are happy to commit as once you’re in, you’re in.

Selling all unwanted or unused items

Using eBay, attending a car boot sale or having a garage sale are great ways to raise some extra money whilst creating extra space in your home. If you have any unwanted items then let someone else have them who is going to use them.

These simple steps are easy ways to increase your disposable income. If you have any other money saving tips then please add them to the comments below.

 

 

 

{ 8 comments… read them below or add one }

Daisy @ Add Vodka January 30, 2014 at 2:35 pm

I love disposable income! Haha. I increase mine by negotiating my bills down at least once per year (I save ~$100/month) and making extra money.

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Marissa January 31, 2014 at 6:03 am

Do the exact same thing! Lowering your bills down is a great way to save money!

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Mike February 3, 2014 at 4:36 pm

A couple of great ideas there that I should do.
I did it a last year and saved a heap of cash
I think I will make it an annual event

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Stefanie @ The Broke and Beautiful Life February 11, 2014 at 2:29 pm

I had a one year gift subscription to Netflix and I forgot to make sure my membership was canceled before it expired. So now I’m stuck with the $7.99 charge for the month :( It’s not a ton, I just feel stupid for forgetting.

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Hayley @ A Disease Called Debt February 12, 2014 at 11:39 am

I plan meals in advance and also gave up wine (I don’t smoke) in order to save money – and feel healthier too! Subscriptions are gone, but I’m still selling a few bits on eBay and trying to make extra money on the side.

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Lee @ TheValueGeek February 12, 2014 at 2:43 pm

My goal is to not buy things that I will later want to sell for less. Less money spent along with less time to sell the things I no longer want

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Thomas @ i need money ASAP! February 24, 2014 at 4:51 am

Hi Marissa! To save money we try to walk as many places as we can. Cars can be such a money pit so we try to use it only when going long distances. Any local trips are done on foot or with transit. This helps us get by with just one car.

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Retired by 40 February 24, 2014 at 9:29 pm

We have done a couple of these things in the past few months – not to increase our disposable income, but to pay down debt! We paused our gym membership (try calling, they would rather you pause your membership than cancel) and we started using eMeals for meal planning. It’s a great service that gives you shopping lists, meals, as well as prices for your area, and I found it for a year for only $29 on Amazon Local. I wasn’t sold on it when I started but now I am. Hopefully, it will help us to get our grocery store spending more under control!

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