Do you ever look at your bank account and wonder where it all goes? No sooner does money go into your account, it seems to disappear. Well, you are almost definitely not alone. In that situation. It happens to so many of us. And then, when you do manage to increase your income somehow, you would imagine that you would actually manage to get some spare money in your life. But somehow that seems to disappear too.
You may have a couple of issues that can be very easily solved that can help you to get on top of your financial situation. Firstly, you may be living beyond your means. Or secondly, you may just not be managing your finances in an effective manner. Both of these issues can be worked through, and you can get on top of your finances.
Find the time to sit down with a cup of coffee and follow the steps in this article, and within a few short hours, you could have a plan that will see that you have more spare money and lower outgoings. You will need to be honest with yourself about your spending habits, as quite often it easy for us to bury our head in the sand when it comes to acknowledging our spending habits. Approaching these changes with an assertive mindset that you can and will change your financial ways will ensure that you will soon see a big difference in that bank balance that you dread the sight of.
Go Through Your Outgoings
You may have budgeted your outgoings in the past. However, it is always worth going back to basics and starting again. Sit down with your online banking and an open spreadsheet and start listing all of your outgoings. Start with the things that you really must pay each month. These will include your mortgage or rent payments as well as your utility bills. You will also need to note down any regular repayments for loans or credit cards.
Next up, you will need to list your non-essential outgoings. These may be luxury things that if push came to shove, you could do without. Things such as a Netflix subscription, gym membership, and any subscriptions that you may have to products or leisure services.
Finally, you will need to work out an average monthly spend on variable essential things such as food, fuel, and kid’s clothes. To work this out, look at the spending over a period of the last few months and add it all up. Divide it by the number of months that you are counting, and that should give a rough idea of where your spending is at on these items.
Time To Make Some Cuts
You will probably see some easy wins when you look at all of your expenses laid out in front of you. You may notice that you are overspending on food each month. Go look in your cupboard, if they are stuffed full of premade and branded products, then you may not be spent wisely.
Set yourself a realistic spending target that you will spend on your monthly food shop. Start to plan your meals before you go shopping. Then, make a shopping list based on your meal plan. That way, your shopping will only include the items that you need. Don’t be tempted in by the offers that you will see jumping out at you in the supermarket- stick to the plan.
Out of the non-essential outgoings, look to see if there are any that you are not currently getting the benefit of fully. If you are not going to the gym often enough, then cancel the membership.
Look at your loans and credit cards. If you have a few different payments coming out each month, you will be paying lots of interest to various companies. If you are only paying off the minimum on your credit card each month, this will never go down. Your minimum payment will only ever cover the interest that has been added that month. You could look at consolidating all of these debts into one simple loan in an attempt to reduce the overall payment in these areas.
Finally, look at your utility bills. You may well be able to switch providers for things like your gas, electric, phone, broadband, and even your home, phone, and car insurance. Often, when we sign up for these services, we get introductory offers that lure is in. Eventually, these disappear, and we are left paying too much. Make sure you are regularly looking to switch and save.