Managing money can be tricky, no matter who you are or how much you earn, chances are you feel like you don’t have have enough. Family life can be expensive, and so most of us are on a budget and living frugally. But there are a couple of ways you can make your finances run more smoothly, here are some things to consider.
Save Money on Your Outgoings
You might think that your outgoings are pretty set, and when the bills come in you pay them without thinking too much about it. However there are lots of places you are probably paying too much when it comes to your bills, so every once in a while it’s worth sitting down and checking and making sure you’re getting the best deals. Run utility quotes through a price comparison website, if you could be saving money here then make the switch. Save money on power in the first place by switching to energy efficient bulbs, using the heating carefully and switching off appliances and lights when they’re not in use. Start writing grocery shopping lists and meal plans and shopping smart- this could save you hundreds over the course of a year.
One of the biggest drains in many people’s budgets is debt. This is because it’s easy to accumulate and when you do, you pay more interest. It can get to the stage where you can only afford to make the minimum payment each month so you’re not actually reducing the amount of the debt. When this happens and you’re over committed, you best bet is to contact a debt charity or company before you start falling behind. They can often work to have payments reduced and interest frozen, and recommend different plans you can sign up to to get your debt paid off without falling behind financially. Another option would be to take out a loan or credit card and use this to pay off all of your other debts. That way you’re only paying one lot of interest and can work out easier and cheaper.
Plan For The Future
Unfortunately many of us live paycheck to paycheck, this is particularly dangerous because if we’re hit with an unexpected expense it could mean scrabbling around for money. For this reason, it’s so worth planning for the future. It could mean starting a savings account so you have access to cold hard cash if you need it. It could mean stocking up your store cupboard with tins and dried food for leaner times with money, that means you can always rustle up tasty dishes without many fresh ingredients. You could look into will writing services and funeral plans should the worst happen, that way you know your family is covered financially. And you could take out insurance plans that suit you, whether it’s health, life, dental, pet, contents and buildings insurance. That way if anything happens you’re covered and don’t end up out of pocket. Work the monthly insurance cost into your budget, you will save yourself a lot of money and hassle if you need to make a claim.
Use a Budgeting App
Budgeting can be tricky, working out exactly how much you have coming in and what goes out- especially when things can change throughout the month. These means that old pen and paper methods can be less effective, so instead of ending up in a pickle try using a budgeting app or tool online. You can easily adjust amounts, they will show you the dates and amounts of your bills, exactly what needs to be paid and generally keep track of everything. When there’s such great technology out there, it makes sense to utilise it. That way you can keep track of spending and bills right from your smartphone or laptop.
The more money you earn, it’s likely the bigger the house and higher outgoings you have- so whether you earn a little or a lot most of us are in the same boat when it comes to finances. Following these tips will help to free up extra cash so that it can be put to better use elsewhere, and you’re not just lining the pockets of big companies paying unnecessarily.
How do you keep your family’s finances running smoothly? Are you on a tight budget, if so what do you do to ensure you’re sticking to it each month?