With a cycle of endless expenses and bills cropping up left, right and centre, it can be hard to get yourself ahead financially. The holiday period makes this even harder with work slowing down, parties to attend and presents to buy, it can almost feel like you are throwing all your money away as soon as it comes in. So how do you get ahead?
Here are our 6 top budgeting tips to help you get on top of your finances and put you back in control. With the right budgeting tips, you can plan for events like the festive season and set yourself up with a buffer, so you can still save and not fall too far behind.
6 Top Budgeting Tips
After some top budgeting tips to help you get ahead with your finances. Tackle these, one by one and you will find the money will slowly start adding up in your savings account. There is nothing more important than having a buffer to fall back on when expected expenses crop up. Here’s how you can manage it.
1. Keep track of your spending: this doesn’t mean just the big purchases. It’s amazing how fast the little things add up and go unaccounted for. Think about how often you buy a coffee when you are out? Or duck to the shops for some more milk? These are just small expenses, but they can add up over time.
You want to track every single expense and write it all down in a spreadsheet. Doing this over the space of a month or two will give you a great indication of where your money is going and what expenses are adding up unexpectedly. From here, you can start cutting down on some of those non-essentials (sorry coffee!) and making some changes to your spending habits. Rather than taking the time to create and update a spreadsheet, there are many apps out there to do it for you. Thebalance.com have an article comparing the best 10 expense tracker apps.
2. Set yourself a weekly budget: you should have a budget set up for all your income and expenses. It should include insurances, school and daycare, Foxtel, groceries and more. Every little detail needs to be budgeted for. On top of this, you need to set yourself a weekly spending limit. This is a great way to allow yourself to indulge on a few luxuries, without going overboard. Clean Credit breaks down the top 3 best money-saving apps in this article here.
You can even save up your spending limit between weeks for bigger purchase items. The idea behind this is being aware of your spending, rather than just ‘allowing’ yourself to make lots of small purchases. Having to save for items will make you much more aware of their real value and have you questioning whether you really need them.
3. Leave the cards at home: Another one of our top budgeting tips is to leave your credit cards at home. How easy is it these days to just tap and go! It’s so convenient, but it is also quite dangerous as well. All these little purchases can add up without you even realising. The best idea to control those impulses? Leave the card at home. Simply carry cash that’s within your budget, so you don’t even have the means to spend beyond it. It’s simple, easy and a great way to curb that spending.
4. Pick up a side gig: do you find yourself spending your nights out, socialising and spending far too much money? Why don’t you keep yourself busy with a side gig instead? Consider putting up a spare bedroom on Airbnb, taking up some freelance writing, or helping with babysitting. Instead of going out and spending money, you can put your spare time to use earning a little more. It will help build that savings account of yours and will leave you better off in the long run.
5. Plan your meals: just a little planning can go a long way in helping you stick to your budget. Think of how often you resort to takeaways because there is no food in the fridge? Or buy lunch out as there is nothing at home to bring with you. Planning your meals for the week will help prevent this and save you the dollars.
6. Get a better deal on your mobile and utility bills: look at your current phone plan. Have you paid off your phone, are you nearly at the end of your current contract? Do you need all the data that your have? Do really need to upgrade or can you stay with your current phone and use prepaid? Talk to your energy company about your current plan. Ask if there is a more budget friendly plan where you can save money. Shop around.
Think ahead to what you are doing each day and try and stick to one weekly shop. Grab everything you need and make an effort to cook and eat it all during the week. You will save plenty of money by managing your meals this way, and it’s much healthier too.
Budgeting Tips & Finding Help
With these top budgeting tips under your belt, you will be able to start saving and get ahead with your finances. If you are finding yourself pulled down by debt and need a little extra help getting out, then contact the professionals at Australian Lending Centre.
With services such as debt management and debt consolidation, we are here to help. We can take a look at your individual circumstances and find a solution to fit your needs that will see you out of debt and back in control of your finances again.