Money doesn’t buy you happiness, but it’s still required to pay the bills – and, unfortunately, a lot of people don’t have much of it spare. If you feel like you’re struggling every month and don’t particularly understand where all your hard-earned cash is disappearing to, here are some tips to help you grasp better budgeting and better money organisation.
Identify the Problem
The first big step to getting a firm grasp on your financial situation is to know exactly what’s going on. Internet banking is great for this. If you’re not sure what bills are coming out and when, and are usually shocked when you realise you’ve spent a lot more in the month than intended, then looking at a line-by-line summary on your bank statement will help you to see exactly where all your money has gone. If you notice that you’ve paid for ten takeaways last month when you only thought you’d ordered three, then here is the dawn of realisation – and the firm hint that you need to go food shopping instead.
Once you’ve identified where your money is going, you can make a list of what you seriously need to cut out to save money and make a list of outgoings which are set every month and non-negotiable. Consistently checking the situation in this way every month will help you to budget better.
Make Better Investments
It’s a difficult situation when your finances are low, and you desperately need something – a new part for your car, for example, or a plumbing bill. The sad fact is that when you invest in something cheap because that’s all you can afford, you end up paying more in the long run because you’ll inevitably have to replace the cheap and nasty part you bought with the quality stock you should have bought in the first place.
If there is something important you need and you know you will have the funds a few months down the line, but the problem is immediate, consider a quick, short-term loan just to ensure that you can get the best quality right now and pay for it later. UK companies like Cashasap.co.uk offer simple and quick loans for situations like this.
Pay with Card, Not Cash
Some people believe that they have better spending habits if they withdraw a certain amount of cash and always pay with it – that way, you can see how much you physically have left in your wallet. If you’re planning on making a definite budget, however, then you’ll need to have a record of every individual payment you have made throughout the month, and this is only possible through paying via debit or credit card. Even if it’s a £0.99 coffee, you will still be able to see this on your bank statement – but trying to remember every drink you have paid for in cash would be impossible.
Paying by card is tempting in that you can easily swipe and think you have more money than you do, but be sensible with it.