The sheer discipline which is required when saving money can be utterly draining. I won’t lie to you, it is severely difficult especially when you work hard.
You work bloody hard right? All the hours God sends, and you can’t treat yourself? Sounds like torture?
Well it isn’t torturous actually, it’s sensible. Budgeting helps you to decide when the correct time to treat yourself is, whilst saving at the same time.
I have been using this budgeting plan which I formulated myself for a few months now, and it’s been very successful.
How to formulate the budgeting plan (you will need a pen, paper and a calculator for this part):
1. Jot down your total income, let’s start with what you earn per month. (Any additional incomes should not be taken into consideration at this point, they can go straight into savings unless needed for bills).
Once you have calculated your average monthly income, you need to work out your monthly expenditure. For example;
Monthly income – £1000
Rent – £200
Oyster card – £90
Food shopping – £45
Toiletries – £20
Phone bill – £30
Going out – £160
Misc bills – £30
The next step is to analyse how you can cut the monthly expenditure. So to use the example at hand, of course something like rent is difficult to negotiate; however food and going out budgets can be reduced.
2. How to cut your expenditure
Continuing from the example above, you can try to cut food bills by shopping around. Instead of buying from Sainsbury’s, why not try Lidl. It is a lot cheaper, but still excellent quality. You could reduce your food bills by up to 20%.
Also with going out budgets, try to minimise these also. Perhaps give yourself £20 per weekend to go out for a meal etc. If you want to drink you can always invite a friend round, after all a decent bottle of wine only costs £9! This is much easier to practise in winter. Hibernation is key.
In regards to your phone bill, unless you are stuck in the Stone Age chances are you’ll have a contract. So your monthly tariff isn’t up for negotiation. But what you can do is plan to get an alternative, cheaper deal when the time comes to renew the contract. So that the next year you are saving that extra amount per month.
Miscellaneous bills – of course things like gas and water bills can be reduced slightly by careful usage of utilities, but they aren’t bills you can do away with. Any other subscriptions or direct debits you have that aren’t absolutely necessary, cancel them right away.
Toiletries; as a woman it can be difficult to minimise the amount of toiletries we need, we get taxed for bleeding once a month for starters. But what I have found really useful is buying these essentials from the pound shop. They have all your favourite products and brands for £1. You just need to go once a month spend £15 and stock up. Essentials like: make up wipes, feminine washes, Tampons, shower gel, shampoo & conditioner, hair products etc. This will save you bundles.
3. Maximise your income
In addition to minimising your outgoings, what you can also do is spend every piece of spare time you have trying to maximise income. And this extra income can go straight to your savings.
For example, selling unwanted items on eBay (not so great these days as fees have risen, it is difficult to make a profit), depop is a popular app where you can sell make up and clothes. The selling pages on Facebook are handy for selling stuff too, free to advertise.
You can also check your local area for weekly car boot sales, and sell your unwanted items for cash. Whilst you are there, you can also look for bargains to resell for profit.
Why not start your own business?
Everyone has a skill, and you never know who out there could do with yours. This money on the side will help immensely, with the aid of social media, advertising your skills and services has never been easier.
Of course everyone’s situation will differ, but using these guidelines you can create a budgeting plan each month on a sticky note / paper. Attach it to your diary (so it’s always in mind), and stick to it. The motivation will come from seeing your savings stack up. The rest my dear, is up to you.
Hope everyone has a prosperous 2017. ✔️