I’m here with a slightly different topic than usual, with budgeting. I feel I’ve always been pretty good at saving money, and I wanted to share with you guys easy ways to do so, which doesn’t make you feel like you’re limiting yourself/stopping your enjoyment. And I’ve seen a lot of times people mentioning that they want to save more money or budget better in the new year!
So, grab a notebook and pen here are TK’s top tips to make your money stretch longer.
A) we go into the actual budgeting tips, write out your monthly or weekly income
- Write down your spendings.
[and if you want to go further, categorise them into colours – red: important priorities with a set- or near enough set- amount every month, so bills, rent etc, orange: things which vary in price per month, so for example if some months you may spend more or less on food budget, put that in the orange. Green; your spending money, coffee everyday and subscriptions, things which aren’t necessarily priorities]. Sit and look through your bank balances and see what you actually spend money on weekly, and monthly. Make sure you write this out
B) calculate the total of the red and orange expenses (or your priorities), take away from you total of income per month to reveal how much you have to spend per month.
2. Get rid of extra spendings you don’t need
Go through your spendings that you have from the above, and see the things which you don’t actually need. For example, if you have a Netflix account, consider having a shared account, therefore only paying half. Or reconsider going from two screens to one screen at a time, therefore halving your monthly payment. It sounds like it’s only a small amount, but you’ll find that with budgeting every penny counts! Another thing you can think do I really need this subscription? Or can I do without Spotify premium for a while?
Comparing different deals can often save you money. So just changing how you do your shopping, what can get you a better deal on tissues for example, do I always need asda or can I get some good ones from homebargains? Can I buy in bulk to save myself money next month and the next few months on non-perishable items?
Students, utilize your student discount, don’t be afraid to ask places if they do student discounts or look out for sales!
One top tip I can say is consider getting a reusable mug. Some cafe’s such as Greg’s give you money off when you get coffee but get it in your own reusable mug. Therefore you’re saving money, and helping the environment! But also, just being able to make your own at home. Bring your lunch. Or buy your own snacks to snack on instead of always buying at work [which is my biggest struggle!]. Realise there’s rice at home! And it’s okay to not go out every week. Instead of takeaway, buy ingredients and learn to make yourself a cheaper version! Instead of also spending so much every date-night for example, having home versions! Home movie nights with microwave popcorn instead of cinema!
3. Figure out if you spend more when you pay by cash or card?
If you see that you spend more by card – or apple pay – start by turning it off. And leaving your card home on a night out. And taking only the cash you need, and enough for a taxi! Taking out the money you need for the week, and having that cash with you, leaving your card again at home and only taking a certain amount for the day. Then you know that once that’s gone, that’s it for the day. Turn off contact less sometimes, and stop yourself from just tap tap tapping. Maybe telling yourself instead of just scanning to actually put in your pin code, giving yourself an extra step of work to do maybe will deter you from spending so easily!
It sounds old-fashioned, but even hiding money in a little piggy bank, then just giving yourself an allowance. Yes, I have often just put my money in different places, just so I don’t spend it all.
However, if you’re not very good at saving cash, make sure you put your coins in a money box, just so they’re not gonna be spent on chocolates all the time. And try to pay by card as much as you can. Try avoid taking out lots of money at a time, take out what you need and limit how much you’re carrying around so that it all doesn’t get spent again.
4. Solution if answer to above is both
However, if you’re saying to me, TK what if I just do both, and just spend either my cash or my card, I would recommend you look at steps five and six more. Also, having a savings account, so you have less money in your main account to spend, therefore limiting yourself. And if shopping is your addiction, then give yourself a ‘do I really need this’ talk, before buying, and ask yourself about what you’re buying, ‘can I afford to buy all these clothes twice’, or ‘do I have the same jacket in a different colour’ and ‘I’m just gonna wear this once and never again?’ Can I wait for a sale?
5. Having a bank with auto-savings
Certain banks such as barclays and monzo, you can set certain amount of money to transfer from one account to your savings, so like a scheduled payment. If you know your payday, you can set up a scheduled pay after your direct debits hit, to put some money aside, therefore you don’t even have to think about the moving money around, and after a while you may even forget that you’ve set it to move a tenner a week, until you see money saved up.
6. Out of sight, out of mind [ pingit jars, giving money to someone else, piggy bank?]
Following on from the above point, sometimes when we see we have money in the bank, we think ooo let me spend it. Or we see money in our purse and think yes! Let me spend. Some banks, you can’t see on your main account page how much is in your savings, until you go check that specific savings jar. So that can be helpful. Even having a friend who can keep money for you. A friend or family member who you can trust. Often, we are tempted by what we can see!
Maybe even consider having a couple of accounts and spreading your money. So having your main account and having a different account, even with a different bank, just so you have money in a few different places
7. Having discipline
All this takes discipline, and setting goals for yourself. Even setting financial targets too! So, have that discipline with yourself!
So here are a couple of tips that you could try, when it comes to budgeting and saving money. Let me know your ideas and thoughts and what works for you!
Have a good week!
– TK x