Become a budgeting pro in 2019 with this simple guide and our help
Might seem obvious?
Having a budget might sound like something someone with money to burn would do and it’s not for the likes of people who barely have enough money to make ends meet, but that is where you would be wrong.
If you start budgeting and tracking your spend i can pretty much guarantee that if you stick to it, and when times are really tough on buy the items you need and not the items you want, then you will better off in 2019.
Plan it now for 2019.
It all comes down to two words: spending plan. Making a plan helps you monitor cash coming in and going out of your bank account each month. Once your spending is under control, you can plan ahead, maximise savings and avoid debt. Sounds good, right?
Once you get the hang of it budgeting can be so simple and convenient;
First estimate your incoming cash over the next month and assign a certain amount for each area. That’s essential outgoings like rent, food and bills. Then put aside a small portion of money to save. Luxuries come last: we’re talking beer, fancy clothes, takeaways etc.
Now you have a list and dates of your incoming cash and potential outgoings. So, do they match? have you got more potential outgoings? if you have, it’s time to trim…….
Look at where you shop as well as what you shop for, how you get to the shops, how often. Look at big outgoing costs like insurance, gas, electric, phone, mobile, overdrafts, credit cards, loans!!!
If your insurance, gas, electric, phone, mobile, etc are all in contract, find out when they are next due and plan for the switch and save!!!!
If you are really struggling with your overdraft, credit cards and loans, talk to them!!!!!! I guarantee that they will consider reducing the payments to help you pay them off, i mean, they’ll obviously go on longer but once you get them under control, you’ll have a clear plan to pay them off.
Keep a spending diary and review at the end of every month. Did you stick to your budget? Or did you spend more than you earned? If so, time to cut back. Think cheaper booze, shopping at Primark, swapping getting your nails done for DIY gel manicures. We have tons of easy ways to save cash here.
Reap the rewards
Being the master of your money means no nasty surprises lurking round the corner. Yes we mean overdrafts and debts. To really benefit from budgeting and achieve a saving goal (awesome beach break, new car, iphone) always keep your end goal in mind. It’s easy to accept not having that extra pint when you know you’re saving for a new car. (or not having that pint at all!!!)
Pay in cash
It’s proven. Paying on a card tricks your brain into thinking you’re not spending money. That’s why we like it! It’s not so much fun at the end of the month though, when you realise you’ve spent a fortune on KFC and can’t afford to pay that gas bill! So avoid the plastic and draw out a set amount for each day. Try doing this for just one day a week to ease yourself in gently.
Remember the good times
Psych yourself up if you’re having a tough time sticking to your budget. A study in the Journal of Consumer Psychology in 2015 found out that people were more frugal when they remembered previous times they’d avoided breaking their budgets. So if you’re tempted to splurge on those trainers in the sales, ask yourself, do I really need them? Remember how good staying strong feels. Alternatively, remember the stress of the bad times, this should be enough to stop you breaking your plans
Don’t shop when you’re in a bad mood or when you are hungry
Whether it’s the weekly food shop or getting the kids’ shoes, you’re more likely to overspend when you’re in a bad mood. Research suggests that when things are not going our way, making a buying decision makes us feel in control. Handling money also increases our endorphins (happy chemicals). However, the rush of spending soon wears off and the realisation that we have blown our budget will make our mood even worse! Instead, cheer yourself up by doing something that is free and makes you happy such as dropping by a friend’s house, going for a run or just curling up on the sofa with your favourite film.
Never food shop when you are hungry, you’ll end up buying stuff you didn’t need or wasn’t in your budgeting
It’s when we lose the logical part of our thinking that we’re most likely to break our budgets, according to financial psychologist Brad Klontz. When we’re in a heated situation, such as stressing out over a last-minute holiday booking or feeling the pressure to keep up with friends in the pub, the amygdala (the brain’s emotional centre) kicks in and our feelings take over, leading us into a money-spending frenzy!
This is your budget, your money goals and your life, no one else can tell you what to do or how to spend your cash. So own it. If you’re tempted to spend on a budget-breaker then remember your money goals, whether that’s saving up for a holiday this summer or wanting a cash buffer in case your car needs repairs – remind yourself it is worth it!
Let us know if you need any help with the above, we’d be happy to help you come up with a plan!!!!!