Since the recession many people have found themselves struggling for money. The general cost of living has risen but salaries have remained the same. Essentially, people are making less than they were 10 years ago.
Simple budget tips for everyone
However, with some budgeting, it is possible to make your hard-earned money go a long way.
Set up a realistic plan
Budgeting is a great way to determine the amount of money you have to spend and where you have been spending the money. However, to make the most out of budgeting, it is important to be realistic. There is no need to start living a boring life just because you are saving money or clearing debts. As long as you can afford it, put some money aside to spend on anything you want.
Find les expensive alternatives
It’s amazing how much the little things add up. You may think one coffee a day is small but that $3 per day is $21 per week over seven days! There are cheaper alternatives around such as buying your own special coffee machine or buying sachets of cappuccino or latte from the grocery store.
Use coupons when available
At one time, people spent their evenings sitting down on a night cutting coupons out of magazines; however, the internet and smartphone apps now offer coupons that you do not need to cut out. These will help to save money and add to your budget but it is easy to spend more. Only use the coupons on items that you would usually buy instead of buying for the sake of saving money.
Clear debts and then save
You want to put some money aside for the future but you also need to clear debts. When you start to budget, it is worth clearing the debts before starting to save. Debts carry a larger amount of interest than savings so by clearing them first, you will save yourself a lot of money in the long run. Once you get your debts to about 30% of the total – especially for credit cards – then look at saving at the same time. Having some debt to clear is actually beneficial for your credit rating as it shows you are capable of making regular payments.
There are free things to do
With your budget, it is worth having a list of the free or inexpensive things to do. Treating yourself on a regular basis will make you feel better and help with eliminating stress; however, it is important to make sure you can afford it. Having the list with your budget will help determine the things that you can do each month.
Budgeting is something to do whether you have a low income or a large one. You will see exactly where your money is going and just how much you have to spend. This will help to afford everything and get out of debt forever.
About the Writer: Written and supplied by Gladstone Brookes, a PPI company in the UK who help people reclaim their mis sold PPIs.