These budgeting tips will help you keep your money on track and in your wallet. They're easy things to do and will help you set up a budget, keep to your budget or keep your money where it should be.
Let's start with the simple budget tips:
- Set up direct debits for all your regular payments including household bills including rent, council, water, energy, phone, etc. Usually you get a discount for paying by direct debit and you won't have to worry about paying them on time.
- Cut up your credit cards and store cards, vowing to pay them off. If necessary consider consolidating the credit card debt onto a new card with a low APR rate for balance transfers. That way, you'll reduce the interest payments and only have one payment, making it easier to budget. Learn more about consolidating debt.
- Keep track of everything you pay for one whole month to get clear picture of exactly how much you spend. It's easy to forget to include those little bits and bobs or small impulse buys, but over the month they soon mount up. This 'live and learn' budgeting tips exercise will show you just how much.
- If you want to buy something on impulse, ask yourself if you really need it. Don't buy it there and then, instead, wait at least one night. If you still feel you need it tomorrow, then consider buying it. More often than not, you'll find that you can do without.
- If you're a couple, create your budget based on one income. Use the second income for saving and investing in your future, rather than spending. This will protect you if you suddenly become ill, get pregnant or lose your job as you won't need to rely on that second income.
- Always make a list when you go to the supermarket. In fact, planning your meals on a weekly basis will stop you overspending as you'll know exactly what you'll need on your list.
- Buy supermarket own brands or value brands for store cupboard staples. They're often made by the big brands on behalf of supermarkets.
- All the big, expensive brands pay for premium space on the supermarket shelves, right at your eye level. Look down on the supermarket shelves and you'll find cheaper alternative products.
- Use your coupons when you go to the supermarket, don't leave them in the magazine! Often coupons can be redeemed against other products too, but ask the checkout staff first.
- If you can't remember what you spend in a day, always ask for a receipt. Collect them up and track what you spend at the end of each day. After a while, it will become a habit saying 'can I receipt for that please?' If the amount of paper doesn't scare you, then the amount you spend will!
- Start cooking from scratch. It's much cheaper and the food will go further. It'll take time and preparation, but the savings will soon stack up. Saving the take-aways for a treat is one of the best budgeting tips.
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