Keeping an eye on what you’re spending is a great way to gain yourself more independence. This sounds counterintuitive, but if you can lower the amount of money that you need to spend day to day you gain more freedom over what you do with the rest of it!
You could use your savings to pay for a holiday, get rid of debt or even reduce the number of hours you have to work.
It can take a little time to get into good spending habits, but once you do it’s definitely worth it.
Write down what you spend
The first thing you need to do when you’re trying to take control of your spending is to know what it is that you’re actually spending, so write it down!
By making a note of everything you spend you give yourself a record which is really helpful when budgeting. You also give yourself the opportunity to question your spending, which can help you to stop spending money on the things that you don’t really need.
Using a notepad and pen is a great way to get into the habit of tracking your spending, and there are also a variety of expense tracker apps that you can use.
Make a budget
Once you know what you’re spending each month you can start thinking about a budget to decide what you want to spend each month, and how you want to spend it.
One approach to this is to make a detailed plan of your expenses, how much you want to save or pay towards debts and how much money you are allowing yourself for treats and extras. It’s important that you make your budget realistic, otherwise, you just won’t stick to it. Be sure to give yourself enough leeway that you can still enjoy your day-to-day life while working towards your goals.
Focus on your debt
If you are currently in debt, it’s a good idea to focus your attention here because you’ll be spending on interest payments that you don’t need to. Do this before you start saving, as you won’t earn as much interest on savings as you pay on debts.
A good approach to paying off your debts is to ensure that you make all of your minimum payments and then put as much money as you can each month into whichever debt is costing you the most in interest so that you clear it the fastest.
It’s amazing how much money you can save by making use of the coupons that come through your door to save money on things like your weekly grocery shop, car maintenance and other essentials.
Avoid shopping when you’re hungry
We’ve all done it. Gone to the grocery store when we haven’t eaten and ended up buying a cart full of snacks and impulse purchases on top of the things we need.
This is a good way to spend unnecessarily and end up wasting food so it’s important that you eat before you shop, even if it’s just a snack. This way you’ll be able to make more measured decisions about what you buy.