- Being on a budget doesn’t mean changing your lifestyle.
- Staying motivated throughout the year is tough but doable.
- Our top budgeting and saving tips to see you through the year.
Saving money, going to the gym and getting more sleep are resolutions we’ve all said we would stick to come January.
But it’s easier said than done – especially when it comes to money.
January feels like the longest month of them all, with many of us getting paid early to account for the Christmas holidays and now having to go 5 to 6 weeks before our next payday.
We want to help you kick-start your budgeting journey with some new money saving habits to get into this month that should last you all year!
Have a goal and keep it at the forefront of your mind
When we have a goal that we are working towards it can make motivation so much easier. Whether it’s a savings goal or to reduce your debt make sure that you keep referring to it throughout each month.
A good way to keep your goal in mind when budgeting is to name your bank accounts - think ‘new home’ or ‘holiday’ rather than ‘Nick’ or ‘Sandra’! This means that every time you check your bank accounts to see what you’ve been spending you will see your goal loud and clear.
It’s easy to say you’re going to stop buying your morning coffee on the way to work everyday, not eat out anywhere or buy new clothes for three months. But it’s not a realistic goal.
The chances are if you go cold turkey on the things you are used to then you’ll be miserable.
Instead cut your coffee allowance to once or twice a week instead of every day. Make takeaways a treat on the weekend and treat yourself to something every so often.
Just because you’re trying to budget and save your money doesn’t mean you have to completely change your lifestyle.
It’s more important to make considered changes you can stick to, and you’ll be encouraged and spurred on by the progress you’re making.
Be more sustainable
Thinking sustainably when it comes to our lifestyles and shopping doesn’t just help the environment but our bank accounts.
If you can’t commit to staying away from coffee shops before work, then at least take your own cup. Many coffee shops such as Starbucks, Costa and Pret a Manger are offering customers discounts on their drinks if they bring a reusable mug.
The same thing goes for shopping. Only buy what you need and think about how you can use leftovers to make something different. There are even blogs like ‘Love Food Hate Waste’ which show you what you can make out of those leftovers.
Treat your savings like another bill
It might sound simple but rather than scraping together £10 here and there and putting any leftover cash from the weekend into your savings, get into the habit of taking it out just like you would a bill.
Once you know how much you want to put away every month you can set it up to transfer over at the start of the month.
This way instead of reducing what you’re spending throughout the month in order to have a lump sum for your savings at the end, it’s already gone, and you can then work to the budget you have left.
If you’re struggling, then simply reduce the savings amount a little the following month.
Alternatively, if you’re finding yourself with a lump sum leftover at the end of the month transfer this over so you can start the next month with a clean slate.
This helps you to not get into a false sense of security with that extra cash you might have from time to time, or on special occasions like birthdays and Christmas.
Plan your spending events
We all have those key dates in our diaries when we know we’re going to need some extra cash. Birthdays, anniversaries, Christmas, weddings to attend, a holiday or even getting your hair cut and eyebrows done.
If you know when in the year these events will happen plan for them in advance. This way you can put some money away each month, so when the time comes you won’t be caught short.
Even if you only put a little away each month it will soon add up and you won’t notice it coming out of your pay as much as a lump sum.
Beat impulse buying with the three-thoughts rule
This tip we got from our very own evestor employee Lauren. She’s been able to stop impulse buying by sticking to the three-thoughts rule. Every time you want to buy something don’t.
Instead go home and sit on it. If over the next few days or weeks you think about that thing more than three times, then you know it’s not just an impulse buy. Now you can go back and buy it if you still want it.
Budgeting your money doesn’t have to be rocket science, but if you get off track try not to stress. Just reevaluate your finances and get back on track the following month.