What Are the Annoying Habits?
Guest Post by Zoe Price
Many people aspire to live on a budget, but few actually manage to do this successfully. Often, this is because it can be hard to stick to a budget when life gets in the way and unexpected costs arise. Sure, you might have a strict budget that you are sticking to but what happens when Christmas comes around or your car breaks down? This is where it can all go wrong, and the budget goes out the window.
In order to break this pattern, we thought we would offer some tips to help you set up a budget and stick to it. This will include everything from reducing your spending on transport and buying tickets in advance. Read on to hear these tips.
How to Set the Budget
Before you try to stick to your budget, you’ll need to set it up. This isn’t just as easy as deciding how much you want to spend each month, you also need to look at things like how much you earn and how much your bills cost. To get started, it can be useful to write out a list of anything going in and out of your bank account. This way, you can understand what you have to work with.
Once you have created your list, set aside some money for certain things such as your travel to work, your weekly food shop and any activities. It might also be a good idea to set aside some money for emergencies. If you are really struggling to set up your budget, you can find more guides on this topic online.
Once you have set your budget, you’ll just need to learn to stick to it.
Try Meal Planning
One of the best ways to stick to your new budget is to try out meal planning. It can be easy to set aside a certain amount of money each month for food but what if you get a takeaway or spend a bit more on treats when shopping? When you plan your meals, you’ll only buy what you need, and you’ll be able to cut back on the unplanned takeaways. Meal planning is much easier to do than you might think, and it can also help with reducing food waste in your home. There are some tools that you can find online that help you to plan meals if you haven’t done this before.
How often do you get a taxi or a bus when you could just walk there? Sure, we don’t all live near to the office but if you could make some quick changes to the way you get around, you could save some money. Another option for those who need to get a bus or a train to work is to get off a few stops early. Sometimes, this can help you to save money and can give you a chance to get some daily exercise in. This is something that you should also try if you have kids and are looking for something to do. You’ll save money on bus fares or petrol in your car!
Use Finance Options for Big Purchases
One of the biggest issues that people who are living on a budget come across is when they have to pay to replace a big ticket item. For example, if your boiler breaks down or your car needs to be looked at, it can make it hard to stick to the budget that you had set out for this week. This is why we would suggest that you choose a finance option when replacing big ticket items, instead of buying them at the full price on the spot. For example, if you needed a new boiler, you could head to boilercentral.com to read about some boiler finance deals that they’ve put together in a useful article. This is possible for many items, just make sure that you don’t get locked into a bad deal that is going to make your money problems harder.
Buy Tickets in Advance
Another tip that we have for those who want to stick to their money budget is to buy tickets for any exciting trips or activities in advance. Often, buying a ticket online before you go can save you a lot of money and you might even be able to buy a season ticket or a family pass that you wouldn’t have done otherwise. It isn’t possible to buy tickets for everything in advance but if you can, it could help you to stick to your budget. This way, you don’t have to miss out on any fun activities with your family and can stick to your budget at the same time,
Check Your Spending
It is really important that you understand that budgets don’t have to be rigid. If you have set yourself an unrealistic budget, then you could find that you are making it harder for yourself to stick to it. Once you go over your budget, you’ll find it easier to give up and go back to your previous spending habits. For this reason, we would suggest that you check your spending as you go and make any changes if you see fit.
There are plenty of ways to track your spending and a lot of banking apps will help with this. Monitor your progress and make changes when the next month comes around. You might actually find that you have set the budget too high!
If you aren’t already living on a budget, it might be time to get started. The less you spend each month, the more money you’ll be able to save for big ticket items and emergencies. It is important that you set a realistic budget and that you factor in all of your expenses. Make sure to try out some of our ideas for sticking to your budget including meal planning and finance offers and you’ll notice the difference in no time at all.