Taking a few minutes each day to manage your money better can help you stay on top of your spending habits. It will help you create savings to pay off any debts you might have, pay for that holiday you’ve been planning or simply have it available for a rainy day. Here’s how to budget like a boss:
What you’ll need
To get started on your budget you’ll need to know exactly what you’re earning and what you currently spend it on. You’ll need:
- Your payslip
- Any household bills (electricity, gas, water etc.)
- Your living costs (how much you spend on food, rent etc.)
- Travel costs (car costs or public transport costs)
- Leisure costs (restaurants, holidays, hobbies, sports etc.)
Getting back on track
If you’re spending more than you have coming in, you need to work out which areas you can cut back on. Here are some easy ways to cut back on your expenses:
- Save money on your food shop
- Cook at home instead of eating in restaurants
- Save money on your bills
- Save on your electricity costs
Once you’ve reduced your outgoings to a suitable amount, you can start to set goals and then plan a more long term budget to reach those goals.
Setting a goal
It’s hard to motivate yourself without setting a goal. Setting a goal gives you something to reach for and a sense of achievement when you reach it.
Your immediate savings goal should be an emergency savings fund to deal with the unexpected such as losing your job. You should ideally have 3 months worth of expenses saved. Don’t worry if this seems impossible – it’s a target to aim for.
As your expenses are now less than what you have coming in you can set an amount to save every month and put it in a savings account. You can then use a savings calculator to determine how long it will take to reach your goal.
Once you’ve saved enough for an emergency fund you can start saving for other things such as holidays, a car, Christmas presents and anything else you can think of!
We all plan things differently so it’s about finding a way that suits you best. Some people like to record their budgets in a little notebook, some use spreadsheets, some use online tools or apps on their phone.
Always remember: if it works, keep at it. If it doesn’t, try something new until it does.