Finally getting on top of your budget can help you in so many ways. It can help you be more financially secure, it can be very important for your mental health, and of course, it can help you build your credit score and be able to afford more in your life.
To help you get on top of your budget, you will want to follow these five tips:
Make a Savings Minimum
Set a minimum goal for yourself. This could be $500 or whatever denomination that you can manage. The point is that this amount should be your minimum. To you, going below that $500 threshold should be the equivalent of going into your overdraft.
Once you go below, it’s time to pinch pennies until you can put more in your account. This way, you’ll always have a little something to your name. As you save more, increase this threshold, and even consider starting a savings account.
Understand Where Your Money is Going
To help you save on an everyday basis, you are going to need to know where your money is going. Many banking apps are now offering this, so you can easily see where your money is being spent, allowing you to make changes that matter.
Know Your Repayment Commitments
This year it isn’t just taxes you have to worry about. Chances are, if you required benefits or financial support last year, then you may be required to start making repayments. This usually only applies if you were able to get benefits without fully qualifying them.
For example, you may have made too much money, or you may have received benefits twice by going through two different departments. Making your covid-relief repayments at the right time can help you avoid additional taxes and fines, so don’t put this off. The sooner you know, the sooner you can make your repayments work with your budget.
Shop for Less
There are many great ways to shop for the things that you need, for less.
- Price compare when shopping online
- Always check for discount codes before checking out
- Shop second-hand
- Rent instead of buy (for short-term items)
These are just the start. The best way to save money is, of course, to buy less. To help you avoid impulse buys and the high costs associated with them, try to wait before buying non-essentials. You don’t need to do this for food, but a new dress or shirt? Those items (especially if buying new) are going to be there if you wait. Just take a time out of 24 hours, and if you still want the item and you have budgeted for it after the fact, then you can reward yourself.
Know When to Invest for Ongoing Savings
It can seem counter-intuitive to spend more when your goal is to save, but in some cases spending more upfront can help you save so much over the years. Reusable items, especially for household care, often work out far cheaper in the long run than disposable alternatives. Work out the cost for yourself, and if you need to save up for the item in question.
*Photos by Karolina Grabowska