Learning how to make a financial budget
and stick to it is something that everyone should do, starting from a young age to help avoid sliding into debt. You can easily make a budget that allows you to enjoy yourself while still saving money and getting all of your bills paid on time every month. Budgeting really can be painless once you learn how to do it properly. It just takes a little bit of patience and planning.
- Making a budget really helps you keep your finances reigned in and it shows you how much of your income is being used by essential expenses - mortgage or rent, utilities, food, etc. - and what you have left to spend on entertainment, clothing, and savings accounts. This money should be split up with some put away for emergencies and other incidentals. You can use a budget planner as well to help you see where your money is going and where you can cut back. One way to get your finances under control is recording every cash withdrawal and payment that comes out of your account, and using this as a makeshift guide to analyse your spending habits when you are making your final monthly budget.
Also review the direct debits that are coming out of your bank account every month. You may find that you are paying for things you are no longer using, say a gym membership or a magazine you no longer read. You can cancel these items with a simple phone call to the bank and it will free up some money you didn’t know you had. If you are not using direct debits to pay for some of your bills you may wish to consider looking into this option. Some companies - mobile phone providers especially - charge you an extra fee when you do not use their direct debit option for processing paperwork and other administration costs. You could switch your account to a direct debit option and save money by getting rid of the fee. Check with your utility company and even your mortgage company to see if they offer this option.
Going out for a good time is becoming more and more expensive, and entertainment expenses are one of the first things many people remove from their monthly spending. However, just because you are freeing up money by cutting back on your socialising doesn’t mean you need to go run out and spend it on something else. Look for cheaper entertainment alternatives to going to the cinema and eating out, like having a few friends over to watch a new DVD and sharing in the cooking duties. Try not to spend the extra money you have found on impulse purchases. This money could be better used elsewhere in your budget.
By taking care of the extra money you have at the end of the month that shows your budget is working, you could easily discover that you have enough to go on holiday or buy yourself the new compact disk player you have wanted without having to skimp in other places. Put your money into a saving account or even some form of retirement account and begin saving for you future.