Budgeting hacks to improve your finances
Perhaps you have realised that you need to cut down on your spending in order to be able to save for your very first home, an amazing holiday, or just to make sure that you have enough money squirrelled away for a rainy day in the event that something was to go wrong. Whatever the reason, it is likely you will need to get a knack for budgeting. This may sound stressful, perhaps even overwhelming, but it needn’t be. There are simple ways in which you can improve your finances without the need of drastically changing your lifestyle.
Create a monthly budget
One of the first things you should consider doing if you are seriously wanting to improve your finances is to put together a monthly budget. Taking this step means that from here on, you will be able to better understand the financial situation you are in and figure out where specifically you need to cut down on costs. For example, can you cut down on your monthly transport cuts by walking or cycling to work? Is it possible to spend less money on going out, and more time spent packing lunches at home to count the pennies? By seeing an overview of your monthly finances, you can much better understand where you are spending too much.
Reassess your budget regularly
Whilst it is all well and good to create a budget, if you don’t reassess it regularly, ensuring that it works properly for you and there aren’t any discrepancies you need to consider (particularly in the initial stages when you are adjusting to improving your finances), then you could risk not saving as much as you could have.
Prioritise your debt
As a rule of thumb, it is always worth prioritising your debts when you are looking at budgeting and paying them off as soon as you possibly can. Why? Well, whilst credit cards or payday loans have their uses, for example, if used sensibly they can improve your credit score, or help you through difficult financial circumstances, they do tend to have high-interest rates, potentially costing you a lot more in the long run. That is why it is advised to pay more than just the minimum repayment on your outstanding balance. This means that the quicker you are able to pay back your credit card debt, the more money you will be likely to save in the long run.
Generate different income streams
This will depend on the kind of job you already do, but taking on a second job, or finding ways in which you can generate multiple income streams is another surefire way to improve your finances. It doesn’t have to be a role that is totally time-consuming – it could be any of the following:
- Signing up to become an Uber driver, such as just a few hours on the weekend, or on a couple of weeknights, you could end up earning up to £50-£100 each week, depending on how frequently you decide to work, and you have the freedom to work as and when you like.
- Having an online shop on websites such as eBay or Amazon, perhaps selling off old items that you no longer need or use
- Joining a recruitment agency that specifically looks for people who need work on a part-time or temporary basis
- Look at joining hospitality staffing agencies who often need people just for a single event, or a few weeks
Cut down on utility bills
Another top priority of yours should be seeing if it is possible that you can cut down on utility bills. The quickest and easiest way of seeing if you can do this is by checking out one of the main price comparison websites, as opposed to having to check individually with each of the competitors, which can be quite time consuming.
Use budgeting software
Another easy way to get into good spending habits is to consider downloading onto your phone one of the many budgeting apps that are available these days. Making the ability to save money far easier than ever before, with the app helping to do some of the hard work for you. Take for example the Money Hub app, which analyses your spending so you can see directly where your money goes each month, and helps to bring all your finances (so this means bank accounts, credit cards, savings and even investment funds) into one one place, and allows you also to set savings goals. They also have a ‘Find Advisers’ option meaning that you can get access to professional advice via one of their advisors.