Top Advice for Sticking to a Budget

Money
Money. Shutterstock nuotr.

If you’re like most people, you’re probably trying to save up some money for a house deposit, that first holiday after the pandemic, or simply to build up a rainy-day fund. Reducing your everyday spending is a great way to help boost your savings. However, sticking to a budget can be tricky at times. To make it a bit easier, here are some practical tips and tricks for how you can spend less and save more. You’ll be achieving your financial goals in no time!

Take a close look at your finances

When it comes to budgeting, the first step to take is to closely examine the current state of your finances. Have a look at all of your outgoings in order to determine exactly where your money is going every month and where you may be able to make cutbacks. You might be surprised at what you find! For instance, are there any entertainment services you’re subscribing to but are no longer using? How about a membership for a gym you don’t go to? Or coffee from Starbucks on the way to work every morning that you could make at home instead? Remember, if you don’t like what you see on your bank statement, it will at least act as a good motivator to help you change your spending habits!

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Shop consciously

Sticking to a budget doesn’t mean you can’t buy anything; it just means you need to be more thoughtful about how you shop. For instance, before making any large purchases, it’s a good idea to take some time to think about whether you genuinely need that item or not (as long as it’s not an emergency!). Similarly, you should always shop around to make sure that you’re getting the best deal. Whether you’re looking for auto insurance in Colorado Springs or a new television in Vilnius, check a few different suppliers and search for coupons and discount codes before buying. 

On a smaller scale, when you go to the supermarket be sure to take a list with you and stick to it rigidly – not going shopping on an empty stomach will help with this! Another good tactic is to try swapping to cheaper brands and seeing if you notice a difference in taste. More often than not, people can’t tell them apart. Lastly, consider buying certain items such as books second-hand instead of brand new ones.

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Find small changes that add up to a big difference

There are lots of little lifestyle changes we can make that over time add up to big savings. For example:

  • Make your lunch at home rather than eating out or getting food delivered.
  • Turn off lights when you leave a room to save on electricity bills.
  • Use debit cards instead of credit cards so that you only spend money you actually have.
  • Join free loyalty schemes at your favorite shops and coffee houses.
  • Transfer a certain amount of money into a savings account as soon as you get paid rather than waiting until the end of the month.
  • Turn the heating down by one degree and put on a jumper instead.
  • Use water-saving devices such as aerated showerheads and eco flush systems if you’re on a water meter.
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