With the introduction of online shopping, it’s now become even easier to spend a little too much on things that you probably don’t need. Now that pretty much everything is automated in shops, handing your card over is much easier than fumbling through your purses to get the right money out. In 2007, Americans had $12.37 trillion in debt, and even more on their credit cards. So how can we stop this and learn to manage our money better? This article has been designed to show you how.
When you’re browsing in a shop or online for the latest household trends, make sure that you’re taking the time before heading to the checkout to work out how much it’s going to cost you, and if you have that money spare this month to be able to afford it. Secondly, think about whether you really want what you’re buying, or whether you have let advertising and the model homes that you see on the television lure you into buying these things. Before making any large purchase, you should be taking a considerable amount of time to think about whether you should be spending your money on this particular item. Doing this often leads to people rethinking their decision and putting the item back until they can better afford to buy it.
Sit down each month and take a look at your outgoings, and what is coming in from your paycheck(s). A great way of making sure that you have enough money in your bank account for your outgoings is to always overestimate how much they are going to cost you each month. This way, if a bill is slightly higher than you’d imagined you will have the cash ready to pay for it. Doing this for your grocery shopping is especially useful. Budgeting yourself over what you’d normally spend will allow for any price rises, or extra treats for you and the kids.
If you’re not great with numbers, you could always use a program like Microsoft Excel to help you work out what you have left to spend on luxuries. Here you can get Microsoft Excel training if you’re not familiar with the program. All you have to do is enter the numbers, and let the program do all of your working out for you.
Something that many people find useful is to set all of their direct debits and bills to come out on the same day each month. They find this useful because once all of the payments have been cleared in their bank account, they can see what they have left available to spend.
Help! I have more outgoing than I do incoming!
A familiar phrase for many people around the world in this day and age. The cost of living has increased much higher than our incomes have over the past decade, so it’s not surprising many of us find ourselves spending more than we have coming in.
If you have found yourself in this position, make an appointment at your bank to see what exactly is going out, and whether you can cancel a few of the outgoings that aren’t essential. For example, your gym membership might be tipping you over the limit, so why not choose to work out at home or go for a run rather than pumping iron in the gym? Cancelling any magazine or TV subscriptions you have that you don’t really use will also free up a lot of your money each month. Where possible, try and get your banks outgoings down to just the essentials like utility bills and food. You’ll be surprised on how much money you’re unnecessarily spending!
If you’ve already done this and you’re still finding yourself cutting it a bit fine when it comes to outgoings and incoming money, why not try and make some money outside of your regular work? It will add to your regular income, and many people often find a way of making money out of their hobbies, so it doesn’t feel like a second job!
Phoning your utility companies and asking them for a better deal may also help reduce your outgoings each month. Companies don’t like the idea of a customer leaving them, so if you put that impression across they will often offer you a better deal on their services. Why not call all of the companies you take service from and see if you can get a cheaper deal?
Here are some other ways that you can save money:
- Take advantage of coupons. You can find them online, on leaflets that are put through your door, and also in newspapers. They often offer a brilliant discount, but people tend to shrug them off and not use them.
- Recycling is key. Many things around the home can be recycled, or upcycled. For example, don’t throw away that old unit of drawers – upcycle it for another use instead.
- Putting small change into a jar always mounts up quicker than you would imagine. Try and make it so that you round up to the nearest dollar if you’ve spent money. For example, if you spend $50.48 on groceries, putting the $0.52 in a jar when you get home will round it up to the nearest dollar. You will find that your jar will quickly fill and you will have saved a considerable amount of money.
- Pre-planning meals before you head out to do the grocery shop will ensure that you’re sticking to budget, and also make sure that when you arrive home you have food that you can make meals out of, not shopping bags full of treat food.
Budgeting and limiting yourself might be difficult at first, but once you see your savings grow, or even money left in your account at the end of the month you will realize that the changes you’ve made are worth it. Try these points today to start managing your money better!