Budgeting is not always easy. After all, it’s hard to resist those snazzy new trainers or that cheeky takeaway on a Friday night. We want to live our best lives, and budgeting can seem like a restriction on that mantra. The thing is, it’s actually quite the opposite – budgeting can help you to lead an easier and less stressful life, making you a happier and calmer person. Plus, if you budget right, you might find yourself living the way you want to pretty soon. Here are five tips for the 21st Century budgeter to follow.
- Follow the 50/30/20 Rule. The way this works is that 50% of your income goes to expenses and living, 30% to the things you want, and 20% to savings. It’s a great set of rules to follow, and it means that you have a good idea of the amount you should be saving each month, as well as a clear idea of where the rest of your cash is going. Plus, you’ll be surprised by how quickly that 20% can build up in your savings account, leaving you with some great extra cash.
- Get Down to Online Banking. If you haven’t already, think about an open bank account online. Online banking means that your account is always available so you can keep an eye on your balance and how much is being spent each day. It’s quick, easy, and there are options for current and savings accounts so that everything is at your fingertips.
- Organise Your Money. Make a list of expenses (rent, bills, and groceries) as well as the little extras you like to buy each month. You can use a spreadsheet or a budgeting tool, or even mark direct debit dates on a calendar to help you organise yourself. Look at how much is going out each month and the amount you will have left over. From there, you can determine what is essential, and if there are any expenses that you can cut back on. Knowing exactly how much is going in and out is one of the key parts of successful budgeting.
- Focus on Your Debt. This might seem counter-productive, but repaying your debt is actually part of the budgeting process. Having debt weighing you down is both emotional and financial baggage, and if your debt has interest, it can seem like it will never end. Taking the time to repay your debt instead of buying the little extras you want will alleviate your debt faster, and also mean that you have more money each month to save and spend on the luxuries you want.
- Re-evaluate Your Spending. Take the time to think about what you are spending money on each month. Do you really need those new clothes and video games, or are they items that can wait a little longer? We all love our luxuries, but things like trips to the movies, eating out, and spontaneous shopping can take their toll on our bank balance. Take a moment and re-evaluate your spending habits.
To Conclude. Hopefully, this has helped you to better plan your finances and also given you a kick-start when it comes to figuring out how much you need to budget each month. It doesn’t have to be hard, and if this article has shown you anything, it should be that budgeting can be way easier than you anticipated. Happy budgeting!