It’s the new year’s resolution we all take but often give up on. It’s not going to the gym or cutting back on alcohol, but something that matters to every single one of us – saving money.
However, this year is your year. Follow these tips and get ready to begin effective handling of your finances.
Read also: 5 costs you can cut to save money
Work out where the money’s going
When it comes to checking our bank accounts, it can sometimes be a shock to look and see a number that is nowhere near what you’d previously anticipated. After going through numbers in your head, you still can’t seem to pinpoint exactly why you haven’t got as much money as you’d thought. Instead of playing the internal blame game, know that it’s time to make a change.
Check your online banking frequently. Keep all of your receipts. Ask questions if something doesn’t add up. By keeping an eagle eye on what exactly is leaving your account, though it may seem tedious, you’ll be able to have a much fuller overview of where the problem may be. There are now even websites that do the majority of the work for you.
Get the insurance that suits you
It’s so easy to get drawn into an insurance plan because it came about at the right time or just seemed like the best deal. Instead of searching and knowing exactly what it is that we want from our insurance companies, sometimes it’s just simpler to take the option which requires less energy yet still feels acceptable.
This is a major no when it comes to insurance. If you want a great deal, or even if you just want to fully comprehend what it is that you need to insure, then it’s best to take to someone about it. Talk to a person and end the chat feeling confident that you know what it is you’re getting.
Budgets can be lifesavers when it comes to sorting out personal finances. Whether you’re unsure how much disposable income you have or if you can definitely afford that holiday, budgeting gives you the freedom to work it all out.
Although it may seem slightly daunting, the process can be simple. Gather together pay slips, gas and electricity bills (amongst the others), and work out how much you’re spending on rent.
Once you minus all the necessary living costs from your wages (with tax), you can begin to plan how much you can afford to spend on the weekly shop and nights out. Just remember to budget for loved ones’ birthdays and holidays such as Christmas too, so you don’t end up under compensating.
Spend on what you need, not what you want
Gym memberships, online streaming accounts, and even your phone bill could be eating up your bank balance without you truly realizing it. If you’re shelling out upwards of $30 a month for a gym membership then reconsider – could it be cheaper for you to just buy the occasional day pass? The same goes for all the online accounts that you may have – why not just pick one?
It may even be cheaper to cancel any television accounts you may already have and stream from your chosen online account. You could be spending $7 a month, granted for fewer choices, instead of paying a much higher price. When you decide what really matters to you and what you want costs to go on, it makes it a whole lot easier to decide what can be cut.
Cut out the ready meals
They’re tasty, quick, and simple… and they’re eating away at your finances. What might seem like a quick ‘one-time’ fix soon ends up becoming a constant in your life. It’s called convenience food because it is convenient.
The occasional ready meal isn’t doing you much harm, and realistically it does save on time that you could have spent cooking something a little fresher. However, with ready meals costing a small fortune, even supermarkets’ own brand meals, it might be time to ditch the ease.
The internet is full of interesting and exciting recipes that are cost-effective and that you can cook in bulk. You could make one batch of food that could last you and the family for days. Sure, it might not be overly adventurous, and you can’t all choose exactly what you want, but it’s incredibly cost-effective and could save you a large amount of money over the space of the year.
Get the cooking gloves on and start to browse the web… you might even find a new family favorite.