Being an expert on financial management isn’t essential in life, but it certainly helps when you’re struggling to meet the cost of living month-to-month. There’s never been a better time to start learning how to be better with your money, and you can begin right this moment. It’s not about doing anything big, it’s about how you view your spending, and how sensible you are with what you’ve got.
Not everyone is in a position to get more from their paycheck, but if you have the opportunity to better your financial status – you should take it. Budgeting and managing your finances isn’t going to make you rich overnight unless you’re being incredibly reckless with your current earnings.
Always put towards your savings
Whenever you receive your paycheck from work, you should make sure that a portion of it is always put away for another day. This doesn’t apply to everyone, especially if there are bills to be covered – but it’s always good to have a sum of money tucked away for emergencies or surprise costs that would otherwise ruin you. For example, surprise bills or possible forms of interest that would keep you from recovering your financial situation. Interest can prevent you from getting rid of your debts – so having a chunk of money ready to cover these bills as soon as possible.
As that pile builds up, it can be more than just an emergency fund, you could put your money towards something greater – like a property or an investment.
Creating a cash flow forecast
Predicting your upcoming expenses isn’t something you should leave to chance, and if you’re not sure of what’s coming up – it can be hard to plan ahead with your spending. Instead of leaving things like this to chance, or making a guess – you should consider making yourself a cashflow forecast. A system that shows you when you’re due payment, and when your payments are due. This way you can break down all of your finances, and make plans for your money long before you’ve received or spent it.
If you’re having trouble saving money, this system gives you an easy way to see where you’re going wrong, and where you should be saving more often.
Update your broadband package
One of the places you could be losing money is through your internet provider. These packages are often updated, to the benefit of new customers – but the existing customers are rarely informed of the changes. You should always check into how much you’re paying, and how much the current going rate is for your package. You might come to find it’s drastically cheaper – and if not, you should consider checking with other providers to see if you can save yourself a chunk of money. You might even find that you’re paying for services that you’re not using, like a landline.
Only carry what you need
Discipline is important when it comes to saving money, as not everyone is used to being frugal with their cash. It’s because of this that you should consider only paying with cash instead of anything else. You can’t overspend your limit if you haven’t got more than that with you whenever you go shopping.
It’s a simple solution to a difficult problem, but it’s effective, as you’ve got much less financial freedom to be careless with your money – forcing you to think more about how you’re going to spend your weekly allowance.
Hire a financial adviser
Sometimes saving money requires an investment first, and financial advisers can help you with your finances in a number of different ways. First of all, you’ll find that even if you don’t possess financial management skills – your adviser can help you to come up with all of the solutions you need to better manage your money. You can find out where you’re going wrong, and even better ways to save your money.
If investing is something you think you should be doing but don’t have the experience or know-how, your financial adviser may be able to help. Putting your money away with the hopes of investing later can secure your financial future, and it’s even more likely to succeed with the help of a financial adviser.
Cooking at home and meal prep
Being more sensible with your money will often lead to cooking for yourself at home. It’s never good to have to rely on restaurants and takeaway for your meals, and you’ll find that both your wallet and diet can benefit from learning the necessary cooking skills for home cooking. On top of that, it can make for a great hobby and use of your time.
Meal prepping is a big part of saving money at home, as it helps you to get more from your ingredients, and lets you plan out your meal for the next week or so – all from cooking in just one day. Those days when you’re too tired to cook so you’re thinking about ordering food – already taken care of from your last meal prepping day. Many individuals use this to save time and money, and work on their diet, as you can calculate the calorie intake of each meal you’ve prepared for each day.
Cooking isn’t free to start out with, and if you lack the proper utensils to get started, you might find that this requires quite a bit of investment to get into. A good kitchen knife can be unexpectedly expensive, and so can the pans you use to cook your food with. Of course, once you’ve invested in quality equipment, you won’t have to buy it again in the future.
Take care of bills first
Interest can make saving money so much harder, and you’ll find that falling behind on more than one bill can make it impossible to come back. Instead of working out how much you need for bills after you’ve bought what you want – you should make sure you’ve got enough money put aside to cover this month’s essentials. While it might mean you have to go without the items you enjoy, it’s much better than getting yourself into debt or being stuck behind interest.
It’s worth logging all of your payments regularly and using that to calculate what you can expect from your upcoming bills. Covering bills first gives you a lot more financial freedom than you may think, as it’s not going to have consequences in the long run. It’s just not worth the risk.
Limiting yourself to just one store is an easy way to lose money. While you may have some trust in the brand, it’s essential that you look elsewhere to see if you can find similar products for lower prices. When it comes to online shopping, it’s convenient and easy to find other products that match what you’re looking for – so it’s likely that you’re missing out on some of those savings.
In some cases, if you can wait for it, it’s better to wait for discounts once you’ve found your product on more than one site. You never know how much you could save, especially if you don’t need to purchase it soon.
Collecting coupon codes
Coupon codes often only offer small percentages off of your purchases, but they can also come with special deals – like buy one get one free. Holding onto these coupons whenever you get them is a great way to save money. Online shopping offers a convenient alternative, using coupon apps that automatically apply any coupon available when you go to check out.