Living is expensive, isn’t it? And we could all use with saving a little more money month for month, that’s a given. Yet, no one likes the idea of budgeting. Sometimes, it’s a possibility that people get the wrong idea about what budgeting actually is. They’ll often think that in order to budget, they’ll have to cut back on everything and nigh on live on the bare minimum – but this isn’t necessarily true. If you fancy saving some money, whether it’s for a holiday or just general day to day stuff, here are some top tips that’ll help you along the way.
Make a Budget Plan
Like with any lifestyle change, you should make a physical plan you can look at and refer back to if necessary. Say you were selling your house for example, you’d make sure you had all of the plans written down before they were put in motion, and organise the relevant documents such as papers that would tell you which year your home was built – it’s likely to save you time and hassle in the long run.
Of course that’s an example, but the point still stands that you should have a plan you can follow and it’s often helpful to do this in the form of a budget of sorts. Nowadays you can even get online templates of budget planners for free – so it’s literally never been easier to organise your finances!
The best way of figuring out a budget is making a note of how much you’re making each month. Then you should make a list of all of the outgoings you have at present. Then you’ll be able to figure out your disposable income. Take a look at your outgoings list, and figure out where you can save, and whether or not all of them are a necessity. It’s hard to keep track of where all of your money is going, so it certainly helps to physicalise it in front of you on paper.
Plan Your Meals in Advance
It’s likely that when you hear the term “meal planning” you think about avid gym goers and those trying to lose weight or go on some sort of health kick – but that’s absolutely not the case.
In fact, meal planning can not only be a huge time saver and ultimately make you a LOT more organised, but it can help you to be healthier. If you don’t like the term, then don’t think of it as meal planning, just think of it as “organised eating”.
It’s not hard to do – and if you have kids it can actually save a LOT of arguments and heated discussions about “what’s for dinner”? Say you tend to do your shopping on a Tuesday. Have the family sit down on a Monday night, and plan as a collective what you’re going to have for your meals for the following week – including snacks and in between meals. This way everyone gets a say on what you’re going to eat, and it’ll stop you shopping wastefully.
Make a Shopping List
Following on from your “organised eating” plan, you should then make a list of all of the things you need to buy to make these meals, and take it with you when you go to the shop.
Now, there’s one more thing you have to do in order to make this work – and that is sticking to the list. This can’t be stressed enough! It can be so easily to be taken in by the “great” two for one deals that are so strategically placed throughout the supermarket and ignore what you have written in front of you – but if you do this, you’re not going to see the difference in the money you save when shopping.
Save Up Your Change
Finally, and this is a bit more of a thrifty option, why not consider keeping all of your spare change?
A lot of the time people will find themselves desperately trying to spend their spare change – but if you can save it, then you should try it. Even if you put all of your coppers into a jar over the course of a year – you’d be surprised how much it all adds up to over a long period of time. There are machines in supermarkets that are specifically for changing your pennies into riches – so why not give it a go? After all, if you’re saving up for something in particular, every little bit will help.