10 Top Tips for Better Budgeting
Saving money can be a tricky task. From rent and mortgage payments, to bills and everyday essentials, you can’t escape the costs of day-to-day life. However, if you’re trying to save for something, like a house, a wedding or a new car, or just want to build up your savings, there are plenty of ways you can manage your finances better to do this.
Here at Asda Money, we want to help you achieve your goals as quickly as possible, so we’ve put together 10 top tips to help you become better at budgeting.
1. Save for something
Budgeting should be a part of everyday life, but you’ll be even better at it if you have something to save for. Whether it’s for next year’s holiday, a new car or your dream home, give yourself something to aim for and keep reminding yourself of it every day.
2. Track spending
To make sure you’re sticking to your budget, you need to keep track of everything you spend. Many people choose to create a spreadsheet, so they can see everything written down in one place. To save time, another great idea is to keep your receipts throughout the week (or keep track of your online banking) and put all of your spending into the spreadsheet at the end of each week or as you go along.
3. Don’t forget the little things
When tracking your spending, don’t forget to include all the little things. Every penny you spend adds up, and a few pounds here and there can build to a lot across a month. Whether you’re buying a £2 lottery ticket or simply nipping to the shop for a pint of milk, everything you spend should be noted down.
4. Set a realistic goal
If you’re trying to save money, you have to be realistic in terms of how much you can actually set aside. Start off by working out the essential spends, such as rent, petrol, bills and food, and then work out how much you can save based on what’s left.
5. Use the right tools
Although a spreadsheet is a great way to manage your finances, there are plenty of other online tools available to help you budget better, many of which are completely free to use.
6. Lower expenses
There are plenty of ways that you can cut down costs in day-to-day life. From turning the heating off and carpooling to work, to cooking cheaper meals in advance and cancelling club memberships that aren’t used, seemingly small changes can significantly lower your outgoings. As well as saving money, you could also try and make more money, such as selling old clothes at a car boot sale or online.
7. Find free activities
Another way to save money and spend better is to find free or cheaper activities to do on weekends. Instead of spending a lot going out for a meal, watching a film at the cinema or hitting the shops, spend weekends going for long walks, cooking your own meals and visiting free museums and galleries. It’s also worth trying to find free activities in your area through local Facebook groups too!
8. Make savings automatic
Although you might say you’re going to save a set amount of money each month, if it’s in your bank account, you may be tempted to spend it. To avoid this, you can set up a standing order for the amount you want to save each month, paid into a separate bank account. If you transfer a set amount of money as soon as you’ve been paid, it won’t be available for you to take out, which will help you not spend what you’re supposed to be saving.
9. Stick to the budget
Budgeting can be tough, but you have to stick with it in order to achieve your goal. Saving money won’t happen overnight, and many people save for years to get where they need to be. If you don’t stick to your budget, it will take even longer to save your target amount. Although it may be tempting to give up for a month or so, every month you don’t budget will set you back more and more.
10. Stay positive
And finally, the most important point when saving money is to stay positive. You might feel like you’re getting nowhere, but the better at budgeting you get, the more you’re going to save each month. Keep your goals in sight and remember that every penny saved is going towards your dreams.