Money is a source of stress and anxiety for a lot of people. Even if you consider yourself to be a pretty logical and frugal person, it seems like all it takes is one mistake, and suddenly you’ve lost control of your money.
Whether you’re dealing with a dangerous cycle of debt, or you’re just not earning enough to maintain the standard of life that you think that you deserve, there are plenty of things that you can do to get yourself back on the right track. If you’ve decided that it’s time to make a change to your bank account and your attitude, the following tips will help.
Budgeting might not be the most exciting thing to think about each day – but it’s something that you’re going to need if you really want to control your money. Having a budget isn’t just about telling yourself what you can’t afford to buy. If you use it correctly, your budget can become a compass, helping you to figure out where you need to spend your money if you want to accomplish your goals in the long-term, and the short-term.
Start by listing all of your regular expenses, from mortgage fees to council tax, and subtract them from your monthly income. This will help you to see how much discretionary cash you have each month. Remember, although you need to save some money aside for the future, it helps to have cash that you can have a little fun with too!
It’s easy to tell yourself that you’re going to eat out less or spend fewer pounds on your weekly shopping trip when you’re trying to cut costs. However, many of our biggest expenses come from the monthly fees that we have to deal with on a regular basis, this includes paying for things like your gas and electricity, or even your broadband bills.
The good news is that just because you think that you got the best deal on your utilities when you started to pay for them several years ago, doesn’t mean that there aren’t things you can do to save extra cash now. There may be better deals available from other providers, all you need to do is start searching and comparing. If you’re running a business, you can even compare business electricity prices to get you the best rates.
Planning your meals is one of the easiest ways to save money and improve your wellbeing at the same time. When you plan out your meals, you know exactly what you’re going to eat each night, so you’re less likely to turn to a takeaway menu when you’re feeling exhausted. You can also make sure that you’re only buying exactly what you need when you go to the supermarket, rather than buying whatever you feel like eating at the time.
You could even think about planning meals that you can make in advance. This makes it even less likely that you’re going to turn to fast food when you’re tired, because all you need to do is pull a Tupperware container out of your freezer and pop it into the microwave. All the while, you’re improving your health by making sure that you get plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables into your routine.
Debts are something that we all have to deal with at some point or another. A loan can be a fantastic tool when you need help paying for expensive things over time, like a new kitchen, or a home. However, the loans that you take out can quickly become more expensive over time, when you consider the price that you’re paying for interest.
For instance, if you took out a personal loan a while ago when you had a bad credit score, then you might be able to get a better deal if you were to refinance that loan now. After all, your credit situation may have changed over the years, which means that you can take advantage of offers and payment schedules that you simply couldn’t access in the past. You could even refinance a bunch of loans which you have taken out previously into a consolidated plan that lets you pay off your debt a lot faster.
Finally, consider a spending fast from time to time when you need to get your finances in order. A spending fast is when you stop yourself from spending anything for a specific period of time. You might go a full week without spending anything, which means that you even take your own packed lunches to work and make your own coffee instead of buying one on the way.
Little spending fasts can help you to remember how easy it is to live without spending when you make a real effort.