Easy budgeting with these expert insights
New insight from YouGov reveals that over a third of UK adults claim financial matters confuse them and 73% say they are more careful with their finances than they used to be.
With this in mind, our experts have shared some of their top tips for keeping on top of your money and getting the most out of your cash.
1. Budget for ‘out of the ordinary’ events
When looking ahead for the month, it’s important to split out your budgets and spends to cover all your plans and outgoings. Remembering to budget for ‘out of the ordinary’ things such as birthdays in any given month can give you some extra leeway, making sure you’re fully covered.
Taking this into consideration and planning out big events for the next six months, assigning a maximum spend according to the event type and splitting savings across two or three months can help ease the overall impact on your disposable income.
With lockdown restrictions still in place, seeing family and friends is still limited and so you should consider that gifting options are also limited and there may be some additional costs such as delivery charges if you’re sending a gift to someone else’s house.
2. Use apps to help
Managing your money is never easy no matter how much, or how little, you have. Luckily, we live in a society where there’s an app for everything and there are many available when it comes to making the most of your money. Apps such as Bean are really useful to assess your bills and tell you if you could get a better deal elsewhere without you having to shop around for yourself. If there’s a better offer available on your car insurance or your gas and electric, Bean will flag it and let you know, saving you time, money and effort.
Another useful app is Cleo, an Artificial Intelligence-powered app that can read your accounts and quickly tell you how much things cost when you ask. The app provides quick and easy access to finances for busy people on the go.
To find out more about which money management apps can help you, check out our recent blog post.
3. Create a budget tracker
Keeping track of your incomings and outgoings in an Excel sheet with pre-set formulas makes it easy to identify when you could have more or less disposable income in the month than you expect.
Not very Excel-savvy? We’ve done all the hard work for you. Download our easy-to-use budget planner template here.
4. Don’t overplan your savings
When looking at your incomings and outgoings each month, it can be tempting to assign a higher amount of your budget to go into savings so your overall savings figure increases. But it’s important not to overestimate how much you’re able to save, otherwise you could end up dipping into it often, making it harder to track your progress. Only set aside what you can realistically do without for that given month.
Taking an adaptable approach and being flexible with the amount you can save each month according to what else you have going on in that time is a great way to manage your savings.
5. Appoint a money buddy
It can be hard to stick to your monthly budget and not splurge, especially during lockdown. Try appointing a money buddy, a friend or family member you can discuss money with, to hold you to account each month. Catching up with your money buddy at the start and end of the month could be a good way to make sure you stay on track. It’s much harder to justify unnecessary spends to your buddy than it is to yourself.
You don’t need to disclose any information you wouldn’t be comfortable sharing, just stick with your savings and additional outgoings for the month and whether or not you’ve managed to stick with your original plan. If things have changed, try discussing how you can adapt in the next month to make up for any shortcomings or overspends.
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