Just to throw it out there – I am the WORST person for saving money. I love spending. I love buying shoes, clothes, handbags, and sometimes all of the above at once! As I’ve aged (not so much matured) and have had to fend for myself, budgeting has become more of a priority for me now.
There have been months, some quite recently, where I have been in minus numbers due to reckless spending and an inability to keep track of my finances. As a young, university student, people often see this as standard practice and nothing to worry about too much. However if your planning on saving for that perfect house, booking that dream holiday, or simply saving to buy that handbag that’s been on your wishlist since last year, budgeting is where it’s at. Its so important and something that we aren’t necessarily taught at school. Its something that’s taken me years of practice, and only now have I managed to maintain a secure grasp of the concept.
Here are a few tips and tricks that you can incorporate in order to stop your money slipping away from you
1. Open a Savings Account – The biggest monetary-saviour for me was opening my own savings account. Each month, If i was financially able to, I would transfer over a small amount of my wages and lock them away in a savings account. With the money in a separate bank account, I wouldn’t be tempted to spend it when I am ‘out and about’ or shopping in town. There are so many different variations of savings accounts, all offering different features. My advice would be to shop around (no pun intended!) and find one which suits your own monetary needs.
2. Make a List, Check It Twice – It can be super frustrating when you nip to the shops for one grocery item and come home with bags of tat that you hadn’t intended on buying. We’ve all been there. The best way I’ve found to avoid this is by planning your shopping trip in advance. If you know that you have to go to the shop, make a list on some paper (or even on your phone) of all the things that you need to pick up. The key word here being ‘NEED’. This way, you’ll be too busy hunting for the items that you need and not browsing over stock that you don’t need. Your own mini scavenger hunt in the supermarket!
3. Stop Using Your Bank Card – Have you ever spent physical money in a shop and been surprised at how little you had left afterwards? That’s the beauty of physical money – you can visually see how much you are spending. ‘Chip and Pin’ and ‘Contactless’ payments are too easy and often lead to out-of-control spending habits because you can’t see the money leaving your hands. Nowadays, I like to draw portions of money out of my account and use coins and notes on a daily basis. This way, I consciously know how much I am spending, instead of mindlessly swiping and tapping my money away. They don’t say ‘Cash is King’ for nothing!