One of my New Year resolutions was to manage my finances better.
I finally came to terms with the fact that I am now an adult human, and I have things like bills to pay, and mouths to feed.
I thought it was finally time to start looking for ways to improve managing my cash, stop impulsive spending, but also whilst living my life to the fullest.
Carefully want to define being tight with money (eurghh), and being careful with money here (yay)!
Spending Tracker App: I downloaded this free app and I seriously don’t know how I have lived without it.
It is simple to navigate around and use. You add each month or week, what ever you fancy, and then you input your salary, and add all your expenses.
You can add your own categories, there is fancy pie charts and graphs displaying your expenditure, and best of all it gives you the amount of free cash you are left with each month.
It’s free to download, and I thoroughly recommend.
eBay: Every Winter and Summer I always sell a load of mine and my sons clothes on eBay, it creates more space in the house, and the money made can then be spent on new clothes for the upcoming season.
This applies to anything. Unwanted gifts and unused items?
Ones trash is another ones treasure as the old saying goes. eBay the lot!
Shopping the stash: The amount of shirts, pants, skirts, and lipsticks all in the same colour is actually embarrassing, how did I forget I had so many? I bet you are the same?
I have started rooting and sorting through everything I have. I have been mixing and matching old clothes to make new outfits, using old make-up, rooting through gift sets using all the bubble bath, shower gels and body lotions that have built up over the years. There is a LOT!
Plus another bonus is it creates more free space at home.
Direct Debits: I pay for most holidays, trips away, new clothes by having a payment plan and a direct debit that takes out an amount I can afford each month. It pays the company direct, and it is an amazing way to still be able to do, and have the things you like – but without the added stress of having to pay it out all in one go.
Online Banking: People who don’t have online banking I judge you. How do you live? I check mine far to much, tracking in-goings, outgoings it is such a helpful tool in relation to managing finances.
Food: Planning meals, making use of leftovers, bringing your own lunch to work, flask of coffee instead of your local Starbucks? It all makes a huge difference to the ole pennies.
The amount of money I spent on coffees, salads and snacks last year was eye-watering, and I bet the majority of people do exactly the same. £7 a day tots up to over £2500 a year. SHOCKER!
You could half that no probs, by simply making your own. That then leaves a nice little pot of money for a trip away, or anything you please. (See below).
Saving: If you can save a little, then it’s always handy for a rainy day. I plan to put the money that I was spending on coffees etc, and put it in one of them money boxes that you can’t access, unless you smash it to smithereens.
Reward Cards: I was until recently that person who didn’t bother with them. Bit devastated I have missed out on so many good freebies. Boots, Debenhams, Subway, Nectar and Tesco Club Card are my faves at the mo. All the above let you spend the points you earn in store, and it is so surprising how quickly they all tot up. From earning points on petrol, food, beauty purchases and much more.
Since the beginning of January I have questioned every purchase, asking myself do I really need it?
I thought I would struggle with the New Year resolution as I am an impulsive person, but it feels liberating to have some control over my finances, and it has helped me to thoroughly appreciate the things I do have.