Money management is a necessary evil of adulting. Modern life means there are bills galore, and of course we all want some play money too!
It can be hard to balance the incomings with the outgoings and sometimes budgeting alone isn’t enough to help you get on top of things. Below are some great tips that can help you start taking control of your money again …
Track your spending – There’s an app for that! There are several actually. By using a tool such as an app or spreadsheet to record every outgoing expense for a set period, you will see where your money is really going. This can be a real eye opener. What you spend on incidentals can add up without you realising. Ditching your daily take away coffee habit could save you around $2000 a year!
Use your card with caution – Paying with plastic is easier than ever now with Pay Pass. It can be so tempting to just ‘tap and go’. But when you are paying with card is harder to keep track of exactly how much you are spending, particularly if you are making a number of purchases in a day. Withdrawing and carrying cash may seem old fashioned but it makes sticking to a set spending limit much easier as you can see the cash diminishing in your wallet. It’s also important to check with your financial institution about interest rates, interest free periods and additional fees or charges for using your card.
Shop around – With the big supermarkets facing greater competition these days, it pays to shop the specials for groceries. Buying in bulk from places like Costco, Aldi or local produce markets and co-ops can also save you. Just make sure you have a list and stick to it. Six boxes of baked beans on special isn’t a bargain if your family hates baked beans. And don’t forget to make use of reward cards with stores that offer cash rewards to get money off your shop.
Compare service providers – Many of us sign up with companies for utilities or services such as electricity, communications or insurance and then stick with that company for years. It pays to review your policies and premiums regularly to make sure you are getting the best deal on the market. Ring around and ask about added inclusions, discounts and pay by the month options until you find the best deal to suit your needs right now. It’s also good idea to look at memberships and subscriptions that you don’t really need or want anymore. There is no point paying for things you don’t use. Just be aware of exit or early cancellation fees.
Have a Fun Fund – While it may seem frivolous to save for fun, especially when things are tight, putting even a small amount aside for enjoyment can actually make sticking to a budget easier because you don’t feel like you are depriving yourself. It may be a regular amount into a holiday fund or loose change into a jar on the kitchen bench, but its great to have something to aim for as a reward for managing your money so well!
Sticking to a budget can be tough but by trimming excess spending and being more selective about the products and services you pay for, the stress of money management will be greatly reduced.