Do you need to pay off debts or are you looking to accumulate a rainy-day savings pot? If so, cutting back on your spending and budgeting can help enormously – but it’s often not as easy as it sounds.
Even if you have a modest budget, you can still find ways to cut your back on expenses andsave money – here are a few simple and practical ways to get started.
Keep Better Track of Your Spending
Making a budget usually begins with keeping track of your outgoings for at least thirty to sixty days because it shows you where you’re bleeding cash and help you can make further savings every month. But if you’re attempting to get a grip on your finances, it can also be a good idea to keep track of your spending over a longer period of time.
Forcing yourself to write down everything you buy habitually in a notebook, spreadsheet, or app, will allow you to give more thought to each purchase consciously rather than mindlessly.
It might also be worth moving your debit account to a digital bank; Starling and Monzo are brilliant at helping you keep track of everything you spend money on, allowing you to “file” your purchases into categories, such as “groceries” or “bills” etc. Each month and year-endyou’ll get a report of your spending habits which can help you budget more efficiently.
Start Budgeting, really budgeting.
Budgeting doesn’t mean living scantily – it’s simply a way to set limitations and it’s an excellent place to start if you’re having difficulties reining in your spending. Almost everybody should be able to find a budgeting strategy that works for them – the most important thing is to really be routine about it and stick with it. Budgeting is a long-term effort, not a short-term solution.
The 50/30/20 rule is a simple budgeting technique that can assist you in managing your money in an efficient, straightforward, and sustainable manner. The general rule of thumb is to allocate 50% of your monthly after-tax earnings for necessities, 30% for wants, and 20% for savings or debt repayment.
This approach is effective if you don’t like the restrictions that come with having a detailed budget, but only if you have the self-control to set aside 20% of your income and limit your spending in other areas to the appropriate portion of your budget.
Save Money with Batch-Cooking
Batch cooking is the process of making meals in bigger quantities and portions and then frozen so that you can serve them across multiple days of the week quickly and easily.
In addition to saving a lot of money on many single grocery purchases, as buying in bulk can save you a fortune, batch-cooking can also save offer energy savings in the long run.
Preparing your or your family’s meals in advance and batch-cooking larger servings will also save you time during the week. it’s quite simple to do and can result in a few stress-free, no-cook dinners during the week.
Save on Energy Costs
Living expenses are at their highest point in a decade, and energy costs are already nearly twice what they were at this time last year. So it makes sense that if you’re going to save more money, start with managing the largest expenses – one of those being your energy usage.
We have a whole blog post dedicated to this here if you want to learn more.
Netflix, NowTV, Disney+, Sky – the list goes on.
Many of us now have multiple streaming subscriptions that we often don’t get much valuefrom. Most recently, households in Britain have already begun to cut back on streaming services en masse to reduce spending – perhaps you should too?
Subscriptions could also be gym memberships, Amazon subscriptions, letterbox subscriptions etc. if you don’t really need the subscription service, cut it from your spending.
Debt is likely a significant portion of your monthly expenses -debt from credit cards, vehicle loans, store cards and student loan debt can all pile up and eat away at disposable income. However, if you consider your debt as a whole, you will able to manage your moneybetter by being able to budget for one whole, monthly debt payment.
Multiple debts are effectively consolidated into a single monthly payment through debt consolidation. If you have a balance on one or more high-interest credit cards, this might be especially helpful.
If you require expert assistance to get your finances in order, think about meeting with a credit consultant who can assist you in developing a budget and bringing down your credit card debt.
Think about engaging in a debt management plan, which can ease budgeting and lower credit card payments. Read our top tips for paying off credit card debt
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