If you’re looking for ways to help you save money or want to learn how to budget better, then take a look at the following guide. We’ve featured some tips and ideas that could help you keep a tighter hold on your income, and improve control of your spending. Keep reading to learn more.
Creating A Budget Plan
Perhaps the most important way to help you save money is to have a detailed and clear budget plan for each month. You can split this into weekly or daily spending budgets, and in whatever format you think looks best. Although there are some details you definitely will need to include, everyone’s budget plan looks different and it’s about finding what works best for you. You can download templates online to give you some guidance on what to include and how to layout a budget plan.
The main goal is to make it clearer for you to track where your income and spending are going and what could be contributing to any financial difficulties. From there, you can then work out ways to save money, cut back on spending, and eliminate unnecessary costs. For example, you might realize those memberships or subscriptions you never use can be canceled, or that you’ve had a few too many takeouts this month.
One of the ways you can help yourself to save money and follow your budget plan is to plan ahead. For example, when it comes to food shopping, you can create a budget for everything you need to buy that should last you for a certain amount of time. This then means you know how much will be going out on food shopping for that month and allow you to allocate money elsewhere.
Planning ahead is also important if you know you’ve got a large payment coming up that you will need to prepare for. For example, if you’re having maintenance carried out on your home or car, this should be factored into your budget plan for that month and the months on either side.
Cutting back on the number of times you go out for dinner can help to save you money and follow a budget plan. If you’re cooking more from home, then meal prepping can save you both money and time on groceries and preparing meals in the kitchen. Meals can be pre-cooked in large quantities and then stored in your freezer.
These can be defrosted at any time both for a meal in the evening and to take to work. It’s ideal if you’ve got hungry, impatient kids waiting for dinner, or if you’re tired after a long day and don’t feel like cooking.
Shop Around For The Best Deals
Saving money can sometimes mean searching for the best deal, this applies when it comes to groceries, cars, and your household bills. Regularly review what you’re being charged for things such as insurance, energy, and broadband. If prices go up or you find a better deal, then make the switch.
Even if it only saves you a little, it can make a difference when added up with other savings for the month. Budgeting is a matter of how smaller savings make up the bigger picture. It’s also sometimes worth considering buying second-hand, not everything has to be new and there can be some great deals to be found both online and from second-hand stores.
Creating An Emergency Fund
An emergency fund is a form of savings that never get touched except for unforeseen financial circumstances. It can really help during difficult financial strains, such as the loss of a job. For this reason, it’s generally a good rule of thumb to base the target for your emergency fund on 3 months’ worth of your income.
This is because should you lose your job unexpectedly, you have 3 months to cover bills and payments whilst you’re still looking for employment elsewhere. Not only does an emergency fund make sense for you financially, but it can also help reduce stress and give you peace of mind that you won’t have to ask for money or get into debt following a job loss.
Emergency funds can also be used for other unexpected events such as damage to your home, paying medical bills that aren’t covered by your insurance, or replacing an essential vehicle if it gets destroyed in an accident. Emergency funds should never be dipped into for non-essential shopping, or unnecessary purchases.
Holidaying Closer To Home
Although it’s nice to see new places and experience different cultures if you’re trying to save money it can really help to holiday closer to home. You can save money on flights by driving to your destination. Camping is a great option for those seeking adventure on a budget. It avoids the cost of accommodation and gets the whole family outdoors and in nature. This means you have more money to spend on activities and experiences, which are the things that make the best memories anyway.
Switching Your Sim When Traveling Abroad
If you do decide to travel abroad, particularly for long periods of time, it’s a good idea to make sure you’ve got a SIM plan to help you save money whilst there. If you’re visiting the UK, Lebara has SIM-only plans that offer great network service at highly competitive prices.
Create Set Budgets For Days Out
If you’re planning a day out with the family, it can be easy to get carried away once you’re there and overspend on treats, toys, and food. Creating a set budget plan for the day and sticking to it will avoid you running over on spending. That’s not to say treats aren’t allowed, just try and make sure to factor them into the budget.
For example, you could allow your children to pick out a certain item from the gift store with a set amount of money they have to stick to. This has the added bonus of helping your children to learn the value of money and budgeting from an early age, which will set them up for financial independence in the future.
Budgeting For Big Events
If you have a big day coming up, then these should also have their own budget plan. For example, if you’re planning a birthday party you should consider the cost of food, entertainment, decorations, etc. Make sure to shop around for the best deals or ask if people are willing to put in a helping hand. If you’ve got children that are close in birthdays or have close birthdays with friends or cousins, you could consider having a combined birthday party.
This allows you to save money on not having more than one event and means you could pool your financial resources together with a family member or friend for your half of the party costs. When it comes to events such as weddings and honeymoons, it’s easy to get pulled into the wedding market and convinced you to need to spend every last penny to have a good time. Remember to stick to a set budget and be willing to spend more time searching for the right deals if it means you can save money. Having a tight budget doesn’t mean you have to compromise on having a wonderful time.