There are so many budget books and sites out there and to be honest most don’t work. What they do not take into account is other costs such as holidays or unexpected bills.
In this guide I will show you tools that can help you plan your finances and help you manage and control your cash. Save money budgeting.
1.Record You Expenses
Firstly, you need to write down what you spend each and make sure you include everything and use your bank statements, credit cards statements, cash withdrawals and receipts, to help you.
Then go through your statements line by line and tally them up in each category.
Your categories will likely include things like groceries, dining out, entertainment, alcohol, sporting events and so on.
- Household bills
- Living costs
- Financial products – for example, home insurance
- Family and friends – for example, nights out or presents
- Travel – for example, running costs of your car
- Leisure – for example, holidays or exercise classes
2.Record your Income
This is straightforward as you need to write down your income each month from all your sources. Include tips, bonuses or any other extra income and if these numbers vary month to month then take an average.
3.Variable Spending Each Month
This is where a lot of budgets miss out. These are items like food, entertainment, gifts, shopping—basically any item that’s inconsistent from month-to-month.
Also include any major repairs that you have had to pay for in the past 6 months. Use your bank statements to get an average for each of your variable expenses.
4.Making A Budget Each Month
Once you have an idea of what you spend in a month, you can begin to organize your recorded expenses into a workable budget. Your budget should outline how your expenses measure up to your income—so you can plan your spending and limit overspending.
In addition to your monthly expenses, be sure to factor in expenses that occur regularly but not every month, such the variable expenses listed from above.
5.Set Yourself a Target
My suggestion is that you set yourself a goal to either save a certain amount of money or to save up for a holiday, a car, school education or just an emergency fund. This way you are staying focused on a goal for the next 6 months to a year.
You will save money budgeting.
6.Tools to Help Track Your Spending
I recommend that you have an Excel sheet or an app on your phone to monitor your cash flow each month. Keeping track of your day-to-day spending is vital, so you don’t live beyond your means.
Your bank statement will tell you how much money is going into your bank account and how much is going out.
You can then compare it with your budget to see whether you’re sticking to it or not and, if necessary, identify areas where you can save more money each month.
7.Opening A Savings Account
Being strict and disciplined is critical to the success of a successful budget.
Go and open a bank account and use your excess savings to build up in a separate account. You want to reduce the temptation to spend this discretionary money by setting up automatic, scheduled transfers from your main account (transaction account) to your savings account is going to the key to your success.
8.If you’re Overwhelmed by Your Debts
Learn more about getting informal help to manage your money.
Often, the hardest part of paying off your debts is taking the first step. It’s easy to feel overwhelmed if you know you’re struggling financially.
It’s tempting to bury your head in the sand and ignore your bank statements and demands for payment, but it won’t make the problem any better and could make it worse.
So, take a deep breath and open any letters you’ve been ignoring.
Once you’ve done this, at least you’ll know what you have to deal with and you can work out what you need to do next.
9.A Checklist To Stay Focused
It’s essential to be realistic and sticking to the plan. I will write more on this in future posts but here is my checklist so that you can keep on track on your new budget:
- Become a better and smarter consumer
- Avoid overspending by focusing on your goal
- Plan your meals
- Review each utility company where you can save money
- Put any money left over at the end of the month into a savings account
Never underestimate your outgoings
- Look for areas each month to cut expenses
- Forecast the year’s events and expenses as far in advance as possible
Identify ways to cut costs without impacting (too much) on your lifestyle
10.Next Steps To Ensure Success
Finally, keep looking at your bank statement and especially your new savings account. I believe that wherever your intention is what is going to grow. Do not ignore your budget plan. This can work for you too.
You can achieve the dreams and goals for you and your family and anything is possible if you put your mind to it. Keep that budget in control and focus on your end prize.
You can do it.