We all try to spend our money efficiently but most of us would struggle without a budget. It’s hard to keep track of all of our outgoings without one. So how do we come up with a budget that we’ll actually stick to?
Well, we need to identify where our money is being spent, figure out if all of our expenses are for legitimate reasons and then think about cutting some out. That all sounds easy enough but most of us absolutely hate to budget!
Budgeting is not fun unless you’re an avid organiser. When most of us budget, we’ll automatically look to make huge cuts which will not encourage us to enjoy our spending. The reality is, we should get some joy out of spending money that we’ve worked hard for without feeling guilty about it.
Let’s take a look at how we can start to make a plan.
1) Track your expenses. It’s worth looking to download, at a minimum, two months of your bank statements to see where you’re spending. New banks such as Monzo, are great for categorising what you spend each month. You can even use cards like this just for your everyday expenses, that way you can see a summary of exactly where you’re putting your money. If you have difficulty budgeting, this is a great option. If you want to use an app to track things, take a look at moneydashboard.com. You can put all of your cards onto one app and take a look at how things are going, it’s free to sign up so it’s worth a try to help you move forward!
2) Where can we make our cuts? Once you have evaluated all of your spendings, you’ll be in a better position to know what you can do without. Firstly, take a look at your earnings after tax to find your starting point. If you figure out you’re spending more than you’re making or even have very little left at the end of the month, it’s time to cut some things off. Perhaps, you’ve found that you spend a lot on lunch at work or your grocery bill is too high. Before cutting everything out of your spending, look to cut down on the price. Look at the cheaper options in the supermarket or perhaps you could reduce your phone bill to a lower plan? These are all things to consider. Then you can start to look at things to take out of your expenses such as expensive coffees or inactive gym memberships and any other subscriptions.
3) Continue to track your spending to keep on top of things. Budgeting isn’t easy but once you’re in a routine, you’re likely to feel much better about your finances. You never know, you might even be able to put some extra into your savings account for a rainy day!
We’re here to help if you’ve been having difficulties with your finances and need any help with outstanding debts. You only need to give us a few details and we’ll be in touch to talk through the solutions available to you – launch our debt calculator.