Despite your best efforts, do you find yourself struggling to make ends meet each month?
Overspending and under-budgeting is an all too familiar scenario for many families – but experts say there’s a few simple steps you can follow to ensure you’re never short of cash.
From budgeting like the Chancellor to employing the 50/20/30 rule, some of the best financial gurus in the business have shared their clever money saving hacks.
1. Be micro expense aware
As consumers, we’re constantly spending, often without realising how much and on what.
Our day-to-day “micro expenses” add up and if you calculate, for example, how much you spend on drinking a take out coffee every year it can come as a shock.
Make sure you’re aware of your daily expenses so that you’re able to stabilise your spending.
2. Budget like you’re the Chancellor
As simple as it sounds, know what’s coming in and what’s going out. There is nothing more powerful than setting and following a budget.
3. Use technology to your advantage
There are a plethora of new apps and services that can help you manage your finances. From keeping track of your budget, investing smartly and tracking your money in real time, make the most of the tech on offer.
4. Save, save, save
Putting a portion of your money away every month is a powerful way to gain control of your finances .
No matter how much you earn, get into the habit of putting some aside and before long you’ll surprise yourself with the results of this extremely positive habit.
5. Take an interest in finance
Being educated about finance is half the battle won.
Don’t just rely on others to make the big decisions for you. Keep yourself informed with the latest financial news – even if its just the basics.
What are current interest rates looking like? Are your investments making any money? Can you get a better deal for any loans you may have?
A simple mathematical calculation can mean the difference between falling into the debt trap and building up a pot of savings at the end of each month so make sure you’re spending less than you earn
6. Make 2017 the year you get debt free
However low interest rates are, try and stay out of debt or clear up any debts you have as quickly as possible. Similarly learn from any money mistakes you’ve made in the past and use this knowledge to make sure you don’t make the same mistakes again.
7. Spend less than you earn
With the amount of real time information on your spending available, you should very quickly understand if you’re spending more than you’re earning.
A simple mathematical calculation can mean the difference between falling into the debt trap and building up a pot of savings at the end of each month.
8. Only use cash
This may be an old school solution, but only carrying hard cash around allows you to better understand where and how you’re spending your money because it is actually disappearing physically.
It’s much easier to see how far your money truly takes you. Even doing this every so often reminds you of the value of money in a way that contactless cards simply cannot.
9. Check your transactions
Each day, spend a minute or two to glance back at your transactions from the previous day to have a better understanding of how you’re spending and what’s happening with your money.
On a weekly basis, try to spot trends in categories that you can easily cut back on.
10. Use the 50/20/30 rule
Divide your monthly income into set chunks. For example, 50 per cent to go on living expenses, 20 per cent on savings, 30 per cent to spend on entertainment and going out.
This should always be treated as a general principle but can be a great guide to kick off your budgeting journey.
As the year comes to an end, make it a point of duty to start saving or save more in 2017. You’ll be glad in the long run!