One of the essential elements to successful management of your personal finances is the ability to reduce your spending and to save money. The following are budgeting and savings tips to help you manage your finances.
Budgeting is about knowing where your money is going and making sure that it covers your outgoings.
1. When completing your budget you will need to list all your expenses. This includes such things as allowing for gifts and annual expenses and not just your regular monthly bills. After listing your outgoings deduct this from your income. Does your income exceed your expenses or is there a surplus? This is your chance to reduce certain expenses and make adjustments.
2. Consider your goals and set aside money to achieve them. You will need to work out how much you will need to save for each goal. Look at the time frame to achieve your goal such as $100 a month to save $1,200 a year.
3. There’s an old adage that says ‘pay yourself first’. This is an important strategy after all you pay the landlord, the bank, the grocer so why not pay yourself for your future? Make it a habit and soon you won’t realise that it’s coming out of your account. This should be done by an automatic transaction from your account the day you are paid. Some employers will make deductions on your behalf, from your pay and then pay it to an account of your choice. Whatever you do make it happen regularly. You are paying for your future ability to spend.
4. Think before you spend. Are you buying something because you suddenly feel like it and want it? Do you need it or can you do without the item? Save for it and include it in your new budget. Can you get it secondhand?
5. Check the different utility providers of power and telephone and see if you can get a better deal that will help you to save money. The extra can be used to repay debt or to save.
6. Set up an emergency fund by allocating some of your income to an interest bearing account each payday. This is to be used for unexpected and emergency expenses. A good rule of thumb is to allow three or four months worth of income.
7. Only use your credit card for expenses that you have budgeted for each month and then pay the bill in full by the due date to avoid interest charges. This is smart use of credit cards.
These are only a few budgeting and savings tips to help you manage your personal finances but they are some of the most important for your financial success. Remember to visit your budget regularly to make sure you are keeping up to date and on track.