I feel like I am an expert at budgeting now since changing my career path a few years ago. I have always been a savvy person but until recently I have not had to be so cautious of what I spend. Now, I have to budget a LOT so that I don’t run out of money each month. I don’t have a massive pay check to live on. Hopefully this will improve in the future but until then I thought I would share my tips on how to spend smart and make sure you know where you are at with how much you have left in the bank each month.
Make Monthly Budgets
Every month I make a budget in an Excel spreadsheet detailing what is in my bank, what is on my credit card, what I have in my purse and any future direct debits that will need to come out that month. I then budget into categories such as travel, food, beauty, clothes etc. what I have left to play with. Some months have to be more frugal than others and by writing all this down it really helps me stay on track with my money.
Record What You Spend
It sounds really OCD but I record EVERYTHING I spend on my phone and then deduct it from the budget on my spreadsheet when I get home. If I didn’t do this I would have no idea what I had left in my budget. It also makes me think more about buying things and by writing it down I feel more reflective about my spending. If you don’t fancy doing spreadsheets, there are some great phone apps out there that you can use to help with spending and budgeting.
More likely than not there will be an alternative shop with a better offer of the exact item you are buying. Shopping online can be a great way of researching those offers. I sometimes find I see something I like in a shop but then later purchase it online somewhere else to save a few pennies. I always google for a voucher code just in case I can find one. Using comparison websites is also a great way to save some dosh such as those insurance and mobile phone bills.
Don’t Be Afraid To Say No
Sometimes shop assistants can be very persuasive. Often when we only intended to purchase one item, extra purchases can be tempting. Does this sound familiar? Stand up for yourself and say something like you will add it to your wish list or come back later, if you really hate saying no. It is also so invigorating to stand up and not spend money!
Deregister From Newsletter Emails
A lot of newsletters come into my inbox and whilst I’ve kept the key shops I shop at, I have deregistered from the “tempting” ones. Out of sight, out of mind! It really works a treat and you can google for a voucher code anyway if you shop at those shops. Totally recommend it.
Planning is a great way to control things. For example, I will make a meal plan with my boyfriend each week and we will factor in whether we need quick meals some days. Having food in the fridge means no temptation to order those expensive takeaways! And a home cooked meal is often healthier and tastier.
Shoes | Clarks Brogues
Skirt | Banana Republic (similar here)
Top | Mango (similar here)
White jacket |H&M (similar here)
Bag | Jane Shilton (similar here)
Necklace | H Samuel (similar here)
Bracelet | Next Similar here
Earrings | Pearl Earrings (similar here)
Watch | Radley (similar here)
I hope you enjoyed my tips! I’d love to hear your tips on budgeting… what are your spending hacks?