A Few Tips On Managing Your Money!

NathalieM By NathalieM, 12th Mar 2013 | Follow this author | RSS Feed | Short URL http://nut.bz/11xybua4/
Posted in Wikinut>Money>Money Saving Tips

Only the lucky few don't have to draw their purse strings tight! Most of us however, have to find ways to look after our pennies and pounds but with a few tricks up your sleeve it's not as hard as it sounds! Have a read of my guide for a few helpful tips on how to manage your money.

Introduction To Managing Your Money

There are many things we have to worry about in this world, one of the most common of which is money. Of course, there are the lucky few who simply have to hand over their ‘magic card’ at the finest shopping boutiques and don’t have a care in the world – unfortunately, most of us aren’t in that particular boat!
It comes as no surprise to most people that managing your money means you need to have a good sense of self-discipline and a sensible plan to make sure you don’t go overboard whilst out shopping. Managing your money is especially important for young people, who might not have the same level of common sense that older people who are more experienced with money have.
Students too are particularly vulnerable to money problems, especially things like debt. In fact, it has been suggested that UK university students are now up to £20 billion in debt. So, what are some good practical tips for managing your money and keeping yourself in the black?

Budgets

Anyone will tell you that a budget is a sensible idea. So long as you know what you’re spending, you’re a lot better placed to manage your money effectively. It’s a good idea to sit down and establish what it is you actually spend your money on. Try and list everything.
Start with the big things first. Rent is often the first thing on many people’s list of outgoings. The next expense most people think about is bills. Make sure you list all of them individually so you know exactly how much you’re paying for each thing, as opposed to just one big sum. Things like electricity, internet, food shopping, T.V., subscriptions to magazines or online expenses like Netflix should all be accounted for. It all helps you get a better idea of what you’re spending. The more information you have, the more easily you will be able to manage your money.
Transport is quite a common expense, especially if you’re travelling around for work or to visit friends on a regular basis. So make sure you include that too. If you like to go out with friends on the weekend (or during the week too if you’re lucky) then think about the average amount you spend when out and about and include that in your budget.
Once you’ve done all this, you should have a very good picture of what your outgoings are.

Cutting Back!

Yawn! I know nobody wants to think about cutting back, but a lot of the time it is necessary. And if you want a little bit more money in your wallet and to avoid debt then you shouldn’t complain. Of course, everyone likes to have a little splurge now and again, but you can always put a little bit of ‘fun’ money into your budget for spending on a whim – just make sure it’s not too much.
Take a look at your budget overall and decide what areas you could cut back on – there are always a few. One common way of cutting back is by changing the products you buy when you do your weekly food shopping. Those brand name products often have value range equivalents at your local supermarket. So consider a little change towards cheaper alternatives, this can greatly reduce the cost of your weekly shop. Baked beans taste the same whatever the brand!
Another way of cutting back is on your monthly bills. Obviously you will need certain things like water and power, but if you’ve got a satellite T.V. subscription or some other ‘luxury’ costs then think about cutting back on those. Boo! I know it’s horrible, but it’s a great way to save money.

Being Disciplined

There are a lot of different ways you can make it a little bit easier to stick to your budget. One option is to open a separate savings account, in which you trim off all the savings you make each month. This way the money you can spend is all in one place, and the money you can’t spend is separated.
You can also use prepaid credit or debit cards, this way you can only spend the value that’s stored on the card. This is helpful to avoid overspending and being hit with an overdraft fee – as you can’t spend any more than the card’s balance. Many accounts offer this service so you can get a prepaid Master Card or Visa that you can use like your normal debit card – but without the risk of an overspend.
Another option is a bit more low tech. If you’ve worked out your budget, and you have set amounts to spend on everything you need, then you can go to the bank at the beginning of the week and withdraw the amount you can spend. From here, getting some envelopes and marking them with each day of the week will help you keep your money well managed. By taking out an envelope each day it’s much easier to stick to your spending limits. This is a great technique from money expert Alvin Hall.
This technique stops you from using your bank account as much, which can be very beneficial in helping you resist temptation. Keep your account mainly for the direct debits you have each month and you’ll find you’re not so tempted to keep dipping into the pot.

Travel Light

We all like to get away now and again, but the problem is that it’s expensive! When you look at your annual budget, as opposed to your monthly one, then maybe you can put a small amount aside for travelling.
However, you don’t have to break the bank. Try and travel not so far afield, there are plenty of wonderful places you’ll be able to find in your own backyard – and they are often much cheaper. Of course, if you must travel abroad then you should always use budget airlines when you can. If you book in advance you can make great savings.
Also, why not visit old friends or relatives instead of spending money on a hotel? Of course, you will have to be willing to return the favour, but if you’ve got a friend abroad and they’re willing to have you then you should definitely make the most of free accommodation – even if it means sleeping on the sofa.

Keeping Money Under Control

Money is a strange thing. There are many ins and outs to it, but as long as you have the right attitude and you don’t get carried away with spending then it’s possible to live within your means and put a little bit away for saving. And remember, just because you’re not spending money doesn’t mean you can’t have a good time!

Tags

Budgeting, Budgets, Money Saving Tips, Prepaid Master Card

Meet the author

author avatar NathalieM
Hello! I'm Nathalie and I love writing about what makes my world tick! Fashion, weddings, interior design, health, property..You name it, I will write about it!

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