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Top 10 tips for budgeting

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Top 10 Tips for Budgeting

Tips for budgeting always come in handy. You might be saving for a holiday, new car, home improvements or your child’s future; while you might think the easy option is to reach for the credit card or apply for a loan, if you can adjust your budget and then stick to it you could save up for that big buy without getting into debt!

1 Set your budget

Go over your income and expenditure and be honest. Set your budget and then set up a standing order to deposit a specific amount to a savings account each month or give to a relative or friend for them to save for you if you think it might be too tempting to dip into

2 Analyse Spending

Look at your direct debits and bills and see if there are any areas you can cut down or cut out. If you can’t possible live with Sky plus, maybe you could live without the movie or sports channels and cut down to the basic package? Do you spend money on lunch at work every day? Could you take in sandwiches from home? Can you reduce your mobile bill by going on a cheaper tariff and cutting down on calls? Cutting down on non essentials will help add additional money to the savings pot.

top 10 tips for budgeting3 Cut down on bad debt

If you have credit cards, pay off the ones with the highest interest first. You may be able to transfer the balance over to a low or 0% interest card which will pay off the debt much quicker or you might want to make minimum payments on other cards while you pay more off the expensive one first. It might be cheaper for you to take out a loan to pay off the credit cards so long as the loan interest is less than the card and you don’t fall into the habit of building up more debt on the cards again.

4 Look for the best savings account

There is such a variety of savings accounts available, you need to ensure you get the right one for you. Are you looking to save for years and never take money from it, for instance if you’re saving for your child’s university fees in the future? Or maybe its just short term saving for a holiday? Look into what accounts give you the best return for your needs and keep your savings separately in there.

5 Cut out bad habits

We all know how expensive smoking is and someone with twenty a day habit will be shelling out up to £50 a week! Alcohol isn’t cheap either so while you might head straight for the wine after a long day at work, cutting down or cutting out your vices altogether will see your savings rise and your health improve.

6 Stick to Cash

Set yourself a weekly budget for everyday or discretionary spending and draw the cash out at the beginning of the week. If you know there is a limited amount of cash in your wallet you’ll start to question whether you really need that coffee from Starbucks or could you just wait until you’re back in the office and get a drink for free? Handing cash over has more of a mental impact than just whipping out your card and punching in your pin.

7 Save Receipts

Although you probably have a pretty good idea of what your direct debits are and what your average weekly spend is, you may find that lots of little items start to add up or you’ve actually been miss-calculating your outgoings. Get into the habit of saving your receipts and totting up everything you have been buying. You’ll be less likely to overspent or be frivolous if you have a true idea of where your money’s been going.

8 Check your Bank Statement daily

If you have online banking set up, this is really quick and easy to do and by having a clear picture of the activity in your account, you can make sure you avoid overdraft or miss payment charges due to insufficient funds. Don’t bury your head in the sand; it will make a bad situation worse. Any unusual activity will also be highlighted if you have a firm grip on what should and shouldn’t be leaving your account.

top 10 tips for budgeting

9 Be a Team

If you’re saving or just cutting down, make sure all the family is on board or you may find yourself swimming against the financial tide. If you’re trying hard to budget yet your partner is continuing to spend, spend, spend, it will undoubtedly lead to frustration and arguments. Set a clear goal and plan of action together. If everyone makes the effort to stick to what’s agreed, it can make a huge difference and stop any resentment or misunderstandings!

10 Be Realistic

There will be times during the month when you have to pay out for unexpected items such as a flat tyre or washing machine breaking down, so if you can’t save as much that month as you expected, don’t be hard on yourself. You should go over your budget regularly and check it is still working for you. Are you struggling to pay bills as a result of an over ambitious savings plan or do you think there’s areas you can further cut back on and save more? Have a little flexibility around your budget but remember that it’s worth all the effort in the long run.

 

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About Rebecca Robinson

About Rebecca Robinson

After spending the last 8 years juggling life as a mum of two, wife and working full time as a Project Manager for a global telecommunications company, Rebecca Robinson made the decision to follow her love of writing and took the plunge; turning her passion into a full time career. Since becoming a full time writer, Rebecca has worked with various media and copy-writing companies and with the ability to make any topic relevant and interesting to the reader, now contributes to The Working Parent on articles ranging from credit cards to teenage relationships. Ever the optimist, Rebecca's dreams for the future include a house in the country filled with children, dogs and horses in the field!

Website: Rebecca Robinson

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