Money is everyone’s’ favourite thing, but budgeting is the dreaded baggage that comes along with it. No one likes being caught out in their finances, so here’s a few tips on how to simplify your budget!
Organise your expenses. What bills do you have to pay; rent, utilities, phone, internet and so on. Have any subscriptions? Netflix, Spotify, iTunes? You name it, write it down. Working out what *has* (we shall get into this later) to go out of your account each week/fortnight/month is important in working out what money is left over – some to be saved, and some for social activities or purchases. Keep it simple by using a spreadsheet or app.
Set aside your spending money for each week, but do this physically by taking cash out. Having and using cash forces to you to be aware of your purchases every time you hand over those notes and coins. Particularly with the introduction of pay wave, it’s too easy to be tap happy and realise your bank damage later.
Have a look at your bank fees? What is your bank actually charging you for? Is there a cheaper bank or bank account type that will charge you less? Any promotional offers available… (ING are great for their seriously good joining promotion offers!), or are there any high-interest accounts? Investigating the market is so important in finding a bank/bank account that works for you and your finances.
Do you really need that subscription, or that new outfit for the birthday coming up? It’s time we take a look at our spending habits. Quite freaky, we know. But it will amaze you how much we spend each day/week/month on services and products that we really don’t actually need. This is a great time to declutter your wallet of those receipts that have been piling up!
Make a goal in one aspect of your spending habits that you want to cut out/reduce. Is it that you eat out that once too often? Or are you grabbing that sneaky take-away coffee each morning that suddenly adds up? Whatever you pick, try cutting it out for one month and see what extra cash you have because of it. Might help you realise those purchases are not always necessary after all.
Cook from home when you can! This sort of ties in with tip five almost but eating out can stack up on your expenses quite quickly and quite easily. Try taking a home-made lunch to work each day and staying in to cook a meal for dinner. It’s a great way to hugely reduce bought-food expenses, and also an easier way to stay healthy! We love using the 4-ingredients cookbooks to keep cooking quick and easy if you’re feeling tired.
These a just a few tips that you can hopefully introduce into your life. Saving money is a rewarding feeling, and the hard work certainly pays off!