In the next of our series looking at ‘spring cleaning your finances’ we look at ways to tidy up your household budgets. With many incomes under pressure at the moment, this could be the ideal time to really evaluate your spending.
1. Track it – the first step in tidying up your budget is to actual have one. Write down what you are spending on each month and how much you expend to spend. Then compare what actually happened at the end of the month – you might be surprised, and it could identify to good areas to make savings.
2. Avoid paying interest – if you pay for things like car insurance monthly you will likely be paying a far greater rate of interest that you are receiving on your savings accounts. Try to start budgeting in advance so you have enough money set aside at renewal to pay upfront and avoid unnecessary interest charges.
3. Put savings to good use – you might find yourself in a situation where you actually have more disposable income during this lockdown period, as you no longer have to commute so have lower fuel costs and can no longer eat out. Try and put this money to good use by paying off any debt, searching for the best savings rates or planning for the long term by topping up your pension.
4. Apps – if spreadsheets aren’t your thing, there are a whole range of apps available that will help you make a budget and track your spending. These have a range of functionalities, such as helping you build a budget, track you spending, and even helping you to make regular savings.
5. Set some goals – whether it is paying off your debt or saving for the future, have a goal. Once you have a goal, write it down. You’d be surprised how accountable you feel to yourself!