This week i’m writing about something that i’m still learning myself; money management! I trawled the internet to get some tips for myself and have put together my top 10 tried and tested money management tips. I’m obviously not a financial professional so don’t take these as solid money truths, just few handy tips from one broke person to another.
- Do an end of the month add up – Doing this is the thing that fundamentally changed my spending habits. At the end of every month i’d go through my bank statements and tally up my spendings on certain categories. For example, id add up how much i was spending on essentials (household items, supermarket shopping), beauty, and food such as eating out, takeaways, or any drinks and lunches i purchased while i was out. I then turn these expenditures into percentages. Shockingly i was spending 60% of my disposable income on food! I now think twice before grabbing a bite to eat while i’m out!
- Live within your means – This is something everybody struggles with. The main issue occurs here because people aren’t assessing how much money they actually have properly. I’m sorry to say it but if you only earn £700 a month, you cant afford to be paying £500 on rent, you’ll run out of money before you’ve even finished paying your bills.
- Monthly subscriptions are a no – This goes along with assessing affordability. The little things really add up! I should be more clear that i’m not saying all monthly subscriptions are a no but you really need to assess what you need. If you use Spotify and Netflix regularly then they are worth your money, but monthly magazine subscriptions and subscription boxes can be a massive waste of money! These are things you can buy if you afford at the time, they’re not things you should be committing money to monthly as unless their for your job, they’re just an expensive luxury.
- Don’t mentally spend – This flows on from my previous point. It’s fine to set realistic goals for yourself but your goals should be things such “by December i’d like to save enough money to buy this handbag”. Setting goals like that are fine, but telling yourself “as soon as i get paid i’m spending £100 on that handbag”. By doing this you’re spending all your next months paycheck before it’s even in your bank account! If you do this with a number of things as soon as you get paid you’re money will be gone! This also helps reduce your impulse purchases. This is something i’m still working on, but i’m getting there!
- Don’t overspend on gifts – Its so easy to be tempted to spend a lot of money on loved ones, but the truth is if you can’t afford it they will understand! They don’t want you to be broke because you spent all your money on them. Set a budget, go in one shopping trip so you know exactly how much you’ve purchased and leave it at that! A lovely card can say a lot more than spending loads on presents does!
- Do a weekly budget – in cash! – By having your weekly budget in cash in your purse, you’ve got a visual representation of how much money you have left for that week. If you pay for everything on card your money is gone before you know it and you never know what to expect when you check your account balance!
- Be wary of online/mobile banking – Online and mobile banking is fantastic apart from one small hiccup: you can easily transfer money! While this may seem like a positive, it means when you check your account balance you see two numbers, the money you have in your normal account, and however much you have in your savings account. What this means is that when your looking at whether you can afford something you don’t think “i’ve only got £50 so i cant afford to buy this £60 bag”, you think “ive got £300 in my savings, so i can easily transfer some money o my mobile to buy the bag”. This is why your savings disappear! I recommend having a savings account that you can only access by going into the bank, its more effort to move the money, but it takes away the temptation!
- Be bank loyal – This is something you probably won’t notice until you get older, but it pays to be bank loyal. Having all accounts with one bank and staying with them means you’ll get their best rates on things such as credit cards, mortgages and loans.
- Know your credit score – Having a bad credit score can cost you for years! Knowing what your credit score is, and what can improve or damage it means that you’ll be more conscious about being responsible with money!
- Be cautious of offers – If you go to the shop to buy one pillow, it doesn’t matter if there on a ‘buy on get on half price deal’. If they’re £10 each, the second one will cost £5.. £5 you didn’t need to spend! Shops are notorious for putting on deals. You may think you’re getting a bargain, but what you’ve actually done is spent more money than you had to!
I’m aware that there is a lot of “don’t spend” in this post, so to counteract that my next ‘top 10 Tuesday’ post will be all about the things I think your should splurge on! That’ll be live on my blog in two weeks so follow my blog so you don’t miss it!