Tuesday, May 21, 2019

Your Guide to Saving Money - Easy Ways to Budget

Properly managing your money is one of the fundamental parts of 'adulting' and can impact many areas of your life! Put simply, money is a resource that allows you to experience the things you want, partake in activities you like, eat the kinds of food you love etc. 

The amount of money you have directly helps or hinders you from reaching your full potential - scary right?! So it is of utmost importance to take care of your finances so that you can lead your ideal lifestyle. Here are some key ways that you can save money and my easy tips for budgeting.

Develop a budget 
Sometimes where we go wrong with money is simply by not taking more notice of how much we have vs. how much we spend. So it is vital to sit down and seriously work out what your monthly income and expenses are. This way you know things like how much you have leftover to save towards something or how much you are realistically able to spend this month. This knowledge can help you make better-informed decisions about the kinds of plans and activities you commit to each month as well. You can see, at a glance, that you might have a large bill (like your rego) due that month and therefore need to cut back on social outings a bit, so you have to say no to an expensive night out on the town with friends.

Look at your subscriptions 
$18 here for Audible and $20 there for Netflix don't seem like a lot at the time but when you combine every subscription you have - it can be scary how much it is costing. At one stage I had subscriptions to; Audible, Netflix, Stan, Blinkist, Habit tracking app, Flashcard app, Headspace, Deliveroo unlimited, Apple music, a magazine subscription app and Babbel. All up I was spending over $100 just on subscription services each month. That's over $1200 a year and about as much as my gym membership I kick myself for not using more often. I'm not going to lie, I still have most of those subscriptions, but it did cause me to take a good hard look at what I was paying for and kick a couple to the curb. I let go of Blinkist, the habit tracking app and the magazine subscription app. Meal Prep Another place where your money tends to disappear is - food! It's so easy to get into bad habits where you buy your lunch at work each day or grab a $5 coffee every morning. Look at where you spend your money on food and ways you can cut back by preparing more meals at home. For example, meal prepping every day can save you over $100 a week in lunches or making your coffee at home can give you a spare $100 a month.

Save money! 
Okay, this one sounds super obvious but it's way too easy to spend your entire paycheck or prioritise buying dinners out over saving for a holiday that is months away. You have to secure your future and start saving now to have a healthy financial future. Set some targets for yourself and cut them up into bite-sized chunks. You might work out that you can put away $100 a week, so you map out that it will come to $2400 over 6 months. Create a little spreadsheet where each square represents $100 and fill in a box each time you save $100 towards your goal. You could even put deadlines on each savings square to keep you in line! Doing these sorts of little things simply means that you are held accountable so when you are presented with the choice of buying something online or getting ahead on your savings goals, it seems more advantageous to fill in a few more squares in your savings plan.

Cut down a little bit everywhere 
A super simple way to think about saving money is that every single dollar counts. Saving just $1 a day is an extra $365 a year that could buy you an incredible pair of shoes or a new camera lens. It's so easy to throw away $10 here, $100 there but it does all add up so it's about being conscious of everything you are spending on. If you cut down just a tiny bit in every aspect of your life you will see big results. Cut down takeaway to once a week, buy your fresh produce cheaper at the markets than the grocery store, cut out sugary drinks and only have water etc. It's the small changes that add up over time so cutting down just a little bit but everywhere will save you heaps without you being impacted at all.

I hope that these quick tips on saving money have helped you further develop your relationship with money! Hopefully, these easy ways to budget can be implemented into your everyday life and you can start securing healthy foundations for your financial future.


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