There are many things in life that can drain our finances and make it difficult for us to save money. From day to day living expenses to additional funds required to help support our careers and business, it makes sense that we would want to make sure our money is working for us in the best way possible regardless of where it is going and what we are paying for.
With money issues being the biggest cause of stress for over two-thirds of respondents, as cited in recent studies, controlling your finances and gaining control of your budget can help you reduce any stress and anxiety you have over your financial situation. Being more mindful of your finances will also allow you to save money every month.
Gaining Control of Your Finances – What You Need to Know to Save Money
Regardless of your reason for needing to save money and keep a close reign on your finances, the ethos behind it is all the same. To reduce your outgoings you need to make cuts and be more money efficient. Don’t hide away from your finances, however much you don’t want to face it. This can cause you more undue worry and stress until the issue head-on.
Once you have a good idea of how your income and outgoings are looking then you will be in a much better position to get them under control and create a budget that not only works for you at home or for your business but also is realistic. Setting to strict a goal can be counterproductive. Sure, you need to cut back and stick to a set figure, but you also need to account for the unexpected too and have a safety cushion you can fall back onto. Budgeting is hard and can take some time to get used to.
Create a Budget
Know you know what your income and outgoings look like, you can make a start on creating a budget to help you manage your money more efficiently. Write this down so you can see everything laid out before you. Be ruthless with your spending whilst also being honest about what you do and don’t really need. Distinguish the frivolous from the necessities and you may find that you don’t actually need to spend as much as you do on certain things. Cutting back on impulsive, wasteful, or unnecessary spending is key to saving money every month.
Check Your Bank Account
You may think you know what you are paying each month, but do you really need everything you are paying for? In 2017, it was reported that Brits were wasting £558 million on unused gym memberships. With the average gym membership costing around £25 to £30 a month, this over £300 a year per person is wasted.
Even if you don’t have a gym membership, make sure you aren’t paying for things you no longer need or use. Check your subscriptions and insurance payments for items you no longer have or use. Free up some vital funds by ditching the excess from your direct debits and you can quickly find your budget can be much easier to stick to.
If you do have a gym membership and don’t want to cancel, why not shop around for a better deal or see if you can keep your workouts for at home by utilising YouTube. There are a plethora of fitness channels available for every type of workout.
How to Save Money as an Employee or Employer
It doesn’t matter if you are an employee or employer, you want to be spending money in an efficient and sensible way. So whether this is something as easy as taking your own food and drinks to work with you or more complex as putting a new budgeting system in place for your company.
For example, software engineering workshops are designed to help you get the most from your business as it helps you to shape your ideas and also give you a clearer picture of how certain technologies can transform your business.
Making the change to public transport from driving or car-sharing is also a great way to reduce costs when it comes to commuting to and from your workplace. Even better, invest in your health and the environment by buying a bike and riding to work if your workplace is local.
Food shopping is one of the easiest and most efficient ways of freeing up money every month. Meal planning may be all the rage right now, but there is a good reason why. Planning your meals for the week or even weeks ahead can help you shop more efficiently. Buying only what you plan to use instead of buying in the hope you plan to use it is by far, the best way to shop. Dedicating time to meal prepping if you can help stay away from convenience foods and grabbing meals on the go when at work.
Another tip is buying local. This will not only help keep small businesses going but can be easier on the wallet too. This is due to the fact that big supermarkets factor in extra costs into their products, such as transport, packing, and corporate and store employees. Also, by swapping supermarket fresh produce to your local greengrocers, you buy the exact quantities needed without the need for all the extra wrapping and plastic you get in some major supermarkets.
Moreover, you can save money on food if you buy your shopping in bulk for the month. Whether you choose to use it to store freshly bought foods or meals you have already prepared for a later date, use your freezer to help you make the most out of what you have bought for the month.
By following the above budgeting tips, you’ll be able to live a more frugal life and reduce any money-related worries that you have.