Being good with your money can be hard and there is no secret that I love to shop! I am well known for spending my money on clothes. It may seem weird,but I am actually really good at saving and I am actually working as a financial administrator. Although I like to spend money I never spend money I don’t have and I am really good at finding bargains. So how do I save money and how do I keep track of what I spend?
1.Keep a monthly spreadsheet
Now this is the key to keeping track on your monthly spendings. I have an Excel spreadsheet where I have a monthly budget. I divided my spreadsheet into 3 categories.
- Rent and bills ( like electricity, internet, home insurance, mortgage etc.)
- Various monthly costs, ( like food shopping, beauty and hygiene, travel costs)
- Various amusements cost ( like eating out, cinema, drinks etc.)
2.Have a budget limit
Once you have your spreadsheet you need to do a budget. Rent and bills are what they are, unfortunately we can’t control them that much. I write in one column in Excel the monthly budget and in the other one next to it I write the outcome. Then in the end you see if you go over your limit of your income.
Writing your bills down is a good tips, it makes you see what you are actually paying for on a monthly basis. It is then easier to see what you have left for categories groceries etc. Then try and estimate what you spend on groceries etc. per month. If you can’t estimate, write down what you spend in a month and then use that as a budget for the next month. Again you keep track on your spendings and you can easier see where you might spend too much, its a great tool to start saving and cutting costs.
It can be scary to see how much you actually spend on food in a month. Maybe try and do grocery shopping on the weekend and buy for a whole week. Plan your weekly food. Don’t go grocery shopping on a evening home from work when you are really hungry. You will end up buying everything in the shop! Write a shopping list with what you need and stick to that!
When it comes to amusements cost it is very individual. I don’t go out that often, so I have a smaller amount each month, but make a budget that suits you and your needs. When you have done your budget it can be good to have some money left for unforeseen costs. There is always a birthday coming up!
3.Save money each month
I have 3 saving accounts that are flexible, I can take out money from these accounts without any costs and there are no interest on these accounts. I save for shopping, travels and unforeseen home costs ( e.g repair costs, new home wear) I save quite a bit for shopping each month, and if I don’t use it I save it for the next month.
As I own my own home, I need to be responsible and save for unseen costs for my home. I also love travelling and I try and go to London twice a year. So I save for this as well.
Then of course saving for your future is always very important, I have a separate savings account for that, check with your bank what they recommend for you when it comes to saving for your future.
Having different accounts for savings like these makes it so much easier to keep track of and you know exactly how much you have to spend on clothes etc each month. Otherwise it is easy to spend a lot of money on clothes and then the last week until pay day you have no money left for food.
4.Be realistic and don’t go over budget
Don’t spend money you don’t have. Don’t use that credit card or overdraft. Instead wait and save for what you want to buy. Don’t go over your monthly budget. If you can’t afford it look over your spendings. Where can you save money? Do you really need to buy lunch out everyday? In Sweden having a lunch box with you to work is very common. I rather spend money on going out to eat during the weekend. I prep lunch boxes on a Sunday for the week. This is also much healthier that eating out during the week.
When shopping I go to the high street, the only thing I really splurge on is shoes and bags. You can obvious still see what trends that are out there but you don’t always need the most expensive. When I go shopping I visit a lot of stores before I make a purchase. I try and not buy anything that I am not sure of. Also know what stores are good to buy basic things. Like example I buy socks and basics vests at Primark. Then I can spend more at other shops.
Have a look at your monthly costs. Can you change your monthly call plan? Do you really watch all those TV channels you are paying for? What costs can you save at utility bills? Also having direct debit on your monthly costs are highly recommended. You don’t need to worry about late payment fees and many companies has a fee for sending out paper invoices.
I know it can be hard saving and keeping track on your spendings, but being organised with your financials is a key part to a more peaceful life. Imagine not having to fight about money in a relationship, you can spend time doing other stuff instead!
How do you organise your financials?