These credit cards won't charge any interest on your purchases for as long as 18 months.
10 ways to get yourself a pay rise
Image: Peter Byrne - PA Wire
Why do you do your job? Chances are that it's mostly for the money. But what if you need - and know you deserve - more money than you get? Then it's time to get yourself a pay rise.
Now, asking for more money is rarely easy. And in these cash-strapped times, working your magic on your boss to get paid more is no easy task. But due to the rising cost of living, the odds are that you could also do with a little extra in your pay packet.
So it's time to take the bull by the horns and get yourself some more money. Here are 10 ways to do it. Some are straightforward, while others will take a little more time and energy.
1. If you want a 10% rise ask for 18%
Your first port of call when it comes to getting that pay rise is to ask your boss. But the first thing to get your head around is that this is no easy task - especially in the current economic climate. Companies are battening down the hatches just as much as we consumers are, so you'll have to go in prepared.
Negotiating a pay rise requires just that - negotiation - so be business-like and go in with your argument thought out. Know your reasons for asking for a rise, but also take a little time to see it from your boss's perspective. And then be prepared to give your 10-second pitch on why you deserve a pay rise, calmly and politely.
And when it comes to numbers, the trick is to ask for more than you hope for, with the intention that after a little negotiation you'll still get what you want and your boss will think they have too.
2. Use your whole package
If your suggestion of a straightforward few extra pounds every month draws a blank, don't get shirty or start sulking, keep negotiating and see what you can wangle in the way of a boost to your salary package.
It doesn't pay to snub non-pecuniary deals out of hand. Because when cold hard cash is simply not available, an extra week's holiday, the offer of training or personal skills development, or say, one day a week working from home, can prove just as valuable.
How about topping up your income with a little bit on the side? Maybe one of your hobbies or interests could generate a handy second income.
If, for example you're a keen (and good enough) photographer you could have a nice little earner on your hands working Saturdays as a wedding photographer. If you have a talent for music, sport, languages or anything else you can top-up your income by tutoring others.
And if you haven't got any special talents to speak of, there could well be ways your home could make you money, such as by renting out your spare room or parking space.
4. Have your salary paid into a better current account
The 'Big Four' banks pay peanuts on the money you have in your current account, despite the fact that they're swift to pounce and charge you a fortune when you step into the red. So switch to a current account that pays you more.
5. Get a better deal on your credit card
If you're smart enough to clear your credit card balance in full every month, then you can make some money back on your daily spending by opting for a card that comes with cash back.
6. Pay more into your pension
It might sound like you're spending money not getting more coming in, but the tax relief on company pension contributions means that the more you pay in, the more of a pay rise you're effectively getting. And if your employer contributes as well, that is money they're paying you over and above your annual salary.
7. Switch to a cheaper personal loan
If you need a more immediate boost to your cash flow, then consider taking out an unsecured loan.
Rates on unsecured loans are considerably cheaper than those you get on an overdraft or a store or credit card, so if you have a sum you can't shift in one go, boost your cash flow by fixing into a cheaper rate.
Switch from an 18% rate to one of just 7% and on a £1,000 balance you'll be just over £55 a year better off.
8. Reduce your mortgage payments
This is not the easiest of tasks in the current climate. However, if you can cut your mortgage costs you'll an instant uplift in your cash flow - and you could save even more with the prospect of at least one interest rate cut in the next six months.
And the savings are really substantial when it comes to a home loan which is tens, if not hundreds, of thousands of pounds. For example, for every £100,000 you owe on a repayment basis, if you were paying 4.99% instead of 6.65% you would have an extra £100.60 in your pocket each month.
9. Got kids? Use them to boost your income
If you pay for childcare you can get a few extra pounds in your pocket by joining your company's childcare vouchers scheme. That's because childcare vouchers are free of income tax and National Insurance contributions, leaving you with more money in your pay check each month - even after you've paid a fortune for childcare.
10. Turn your junk into cash
Whether it's on eBay, at your local car boot sale or flogging your designer pieces at a specialist second-hand outlet, turning your old junk into cash is a popular move.
Both the number of visitors and sellers at "booties" has increased by as much as 25% across the UK as people hunt for cheaper items and try to raise extra money.
Boot sale aficionados will bargain hard, but it's surprisingly easy to make money from items you'd think would have to be consigned to the dustbin. And it is lucrative when you know what you're doing. One eBay trader admits to running a full-time business from home, buying at boot sales and other online sources and selling items on.
related stories on msn
more on msn money
msn money poll
A new study suggests a typical financial emergency costs around £1,200 - would you be able to raise that kind of money within a month?
Thanks for being one of the first people to vote. Results will be available soon. Check for results
- Yes - from my savings
- Yes - I could put it on credit
- Yes - I could borrow from family or friends
- No - raising that kind of money in a month would be impossible