If you read my blog post about my goals for 2019 – you will know my biggest goal for this year is to save as much money as possible! Since finishing University last year, I’ve been trying my best to pay off my student overdraft, but nearly 6 months later I’m yet to succeed at doing this. But this year I’m taking budgeting seriously.
Budgeting… Ugh. A word we all hate. But something we should all be doing. Money is still something we don’t like talking about but in uncertain times like today, understanding our money has never been more important. The past few weeks I’ve been looking at what money I have coming in and where it’s all going. I’m not claiming to be an expert by any means but I thought I’d share a few budgeting tips that’s going to help me get out of my overdraft and get saving those pennies££££.
UNDERSTAND YOUR MONEY
The first step to budgeting is knowing how much money you have to play with. Write down what money you have coming in and what money you have going out. This will help you understand the disposable income you have left. This tip maybe be so simple but you’d be surprised at the amount of people I’ve spoken to that are blissfully unaware of the money they have, or in a lot of cases, don’t have!
LOOK AT YOUR SPENDING HABITS
Where does your money actually go every month? Are you spending a three figure amount on coffee every month? Or (like me) does all your money go on food?! Budgeting doesn’t mean that you have to deprive yourself of things that make you happy – but it might mean you have to be a little bit more frugal. Apps such as Yolt and Loot help you track your spending habits by splitting it into specific categories, handy for those who want to see their spending clearly.
There’s always a way to save even if this means just making small cuts. For example, I use to buy lunch most days at work which turned out to be one of my biggest outgoings. But by simply making my own lunches I’m saving around £15 a week. This may not sound like much – but with a saving of £60 a month, this made a huge impact on my monthly budget!
SET YOURSELF A MONTHLY BUDGET
After you’ve taken a serious look at your finances you can set yourself a monthly budget depending on what your goals are. I like to track my monthly spending on a spreadsheet (I’m such a geek I know) but this way I can clearly see where my money is going which makes me feel like I have control. For some this is probably a bit extreme just find what works for you!
Budgeting doesn’t always mean you have to put restrictions on money in all aspects of your life, I work 5 days a week and sometimes it’s nice to treat yourself – but the secret is to just do this in moderation. By simply knowing where your biggest spending weakness lies you can learn to manage it which will help you cut back on spending. What works for one person won’t work for others, I’m giving myself a strict monthly budget but that’s because I’m awful at saving money!
Inspired by Nikki McCaig (another Nottingham blogger) I’m going to start a series on my blog for those wanting to save their pennies – it will feature small hacks and helpful tips that are achievable for all so I can help you poor girls get saving £££££.