Here's to rolling on a budget...
It's that time of the year when may you find yourself with more month at the end of your money...
24 Mar 2017 14:55
No month in the calendar year is as devious a month as December. One minute you have your bonus and you are in high spirits and the next minute, there’s no money left and you’ve reached your spending limit. The frivolous spending of the festive season can leave you cash-strapped in January, forcing you to stretch the little money you have left to take care of responsibilities.
Breathe a sigh of relief! There are ways to survive the ‘’JanuWorry’’ blues and make it safely into the rest of the year. We’ve put together a few tips to get you rolling on through the month on a budget – with higher chances of survival.
- Create a budget... This may have already been preached to you, countless times, but it is still one of the most effective ways to watch your spending. Where does one start? There are countless templates on the internet – but identifying your income versus what your usual debit orders are will immediately show you how much money you have available to spend (or save) for the rest of the month. Having a good budget in place (household or personal), will also help you identify the cut-back areas.
- Stick to your plan! It’s all good and well to budget and plan for your money, but it means nothing if you don’t stick to it. Hard as it may be to stick to a budget, starting the process does not have to be daunting – you have technology on your side. Stay on top of your finances wherever, whenever, using one of the many available smartphone apps.
- Stash that cash right... the concept of having a piggy bank was an early lesson on saving – keep it going! Don’t make the mistake of leaving your lump sum in your current account for the thrill of seeing a good bank balance every month. Open a savings account and stash your cash away from tempted spending fingers; grow your nest with a saving option suited for you (with higher interest rates and cheaper bank costs). If necessary, seek financial advice from a professional such as a financial adviser.
- Go on and do it yourself! The cost of living is ever increasing - as a result daily living is becoming more expensive. Remember, it’s the smaller things that add up - you can actually save a lot of money just by planning ahead and making lunch yourself. Google is your friend! Prepare your lunch menu for the week to avoid overspending on food you already have at home,
- Shop around for better deals. While you’re working out your budget, you want to review some other areas of spending and shop around for better deals – especially if it’s time to renew or upgrade. If you have a number of monthly contracts that you’re paying, review those too and see if you can’t get sweeter deals that can save you money. New customers are often offered better deals... Your other option would be reducing your benefits and monthly deals to what you really need and use.
- Split costs where possible. Bulk buying may seem attractive and money saving, but it is also important to know that it isn’t for everyone. If you’re not living alone or you’re in a relationship – you have a partner in saving! There are a number of ways you can split costs, save and still get the stuff you need to get by. This is also where a budget comes in handy.
- Let your loyalty pay you back. All those times you’ve swiped your loyalty cards and accumulated points towards your cashback can now work in your favour. Some loyalty cards also earn you instant discounts and other added benefits. Get rewarded for your loyalty!
When it comes to insurance, try insuring together or insure all your valuables under one policy – and save!