Budgeting can sound such a boring word to most people, but it can actually be quite satisfying to save money that can be used on other things. Ever since I changed career a few years ago, I’ve had to learn to budget and this means being strict with what I buy. I don’t deny myself of treats, but I do think more carefully “Do I Really Need This?”. Lately, I’ve been more motivated to save money so I can best plan for my future and I thought I would share with you some budgeting hacks I’ve picked up. If you have any more tips about budgeting, then feel free to share in the comments section below. I would be so interested to learn about any more useful techniques below.
Do A Meal Plan
We do a meal plan every week and this not only helps us know what we are cooking but it helps with food wastage and general organisation. It saves money planning rather than doing lots of top up shops.
Make A Monthly Budget
I make a budget every month and divide my monthly total into what I can spend on each area such as beauty, food, clothes etc. It really helps me roughly even out the spending so that I make sure I have accounted for everything. It also makes me feel guilty filling it out, so it stops me spending as much!
Record Everything You Spend
This may not appeal to you but trust me it really helps. We record everything we buy, and it really helps us see what we spend on different areas like food, utilities and other random expenses like gifts. We love our geeky spreadsheets!
Plan To Save Money Each Month
Build in “Money To Save” into your monthly budget. By planning to save money, you are more likely to feel guilty for not doing so. Transfer the money at the beginning of the month so that you don’t allow yourself to use it on other things throughout the rest of the month.
Don’t Spend All Your Money On Pay Day
I know this is tempting but spending money evenly throughout the month is vital to ensuring you don’t run out of money by the end of the month. If it helps, set a weekly budget instead of monthly. Don’t get blinded by the fact you have so much money at the start of the month.
Discuss Your Close Finances With Friends And Family
Get advice from others about your spending. Find out if you are spending too much compared to other people. It also makes you feel more motivated to make them proud of you. They also might have some great tips to help you with spending. For instance, when I couldn’t afford my haircuts, I used to my hair done at Tony & Guy Academy where students would do my hair at a fraction of the price!
Set Yourself Challenges
Challenge yourself for instance by decreasing your budget on a particular category such as food. We recently shopped around at supermarkets more instead of online and it saved so much money! It felt like a fun challenge and we were so excited by the results! If you have ever watched “Eat Well For Less” on the BBC, then this one is for you!
Takeaway and convenience food adds a great expense to your food shopping bill. Try to cook homemade meals as much as possible. This is not only fun, and it saves you so much money. It is also much healthier for you. Don’t deny yourself the occasional breakfast or dinner out but try to make “special” meals at home too. I love to cook something more adventurous like pancakes or an acai bowl at the weekend when I have more time. Homemade pizza date nights are also so fun to do.
Plan Free Social Activities
It can be hard when socialising can be so expensive! However, there are LOADS of free things you can do, and everyone will be much more at ease with their finances! Ideas are walks, picnics, DVD nights, going to free museums, making the most of memberships such as The National Trust. If not, something inexpensive like a coffee out is not too overwhelming on the bank account balance. Ask for cinema vouchers for birthday or Christmas presents so you can enjoy things like that too.
Budget For Luxuries
Budget for treats as this is still important. If you leave absolutely nothing left for yourself to smile about then life can seem a bit deflating. Plan some nice things. Think about it as saving money in things you can do like food so you can do some nicer things. It’s all about balance. Me and my boyfriend don’t spend a lot on drinks out for instance, so we prefer to buy nice food as that’s what makes us happy.
I hope you found these tips useful. What are your budgeting hacks?