Making That Budget Lifestyle Work
Living that #BrokeLife? I am too. It’s a struggle and limiting at times, but I have found ways to make it a bit more bearable and still save a bit on the side. These tips aren’t only for those who are not financially stable; if you’re in a full-time job and struggling to save adequate amounts, then this piece will help you too.
Cut The Bullshit
Harsh but truthful. Write down a list of all your outgoings from the last month. Ask your bank for a statement or look at one online. Print it off and highlight those items you feel that were not needed and could have been missed out i.e. buying lunch every day - replace this with adequate food preparation the night/week before. Tally these amounts up. Look at the shock on your face when you do so. The small buys make all the difference when it's frequent and daily.
Any outgoings you can really prevent? I know bills can’t be helped, but do you really need to drive to work when the train can be a cheaper alternative? Most train stations have free, secure parking and the savings you can make on fuel and parking prices around work can help just that little bit more.
By all means, have some luxuries such as a meal out here and there or a gym membership, but there has to be a medium that you’re content with whereby you keep some rewards, but equally make a couple of sacrifices and changes if you really want to get to grips with your money.
Resist the temptations of ASOS and any other shopping website emails that come through with ‘Flash’ sales. Yes, it may sound amazing but don’t be mislead by the feelings given by FOMO. Trust me there will be other ones later. On a side note about ASOS, the fit and items always look better on the internet compared to when it arrives. Does anyone else agree?
Pick an Expenditure Amount
After you’ve done the above and got to grips with how much of your expenses you can’t help, you’ll be left with a large portion of your payday earnings. I would say split that amount in half as a start point in the first month (this is really conservative by the way), save it and use the other half as your monthly luxury spending.
For instance if you have £1000 left after bills, travel and rent has been taken away, this means you bank £500, and use the other £500 for your personal spending. That boils down to £16.12 a day on personal expenses, which is much more than enough. If you spend the majority of your time at work each day then what can you spend all your money on realistically?
There has to be an element of you that wants to save. Don’t do it just to be said, in order for this to work for you, willpower is the ultimate driving force.
Ask yourself this, why are you saving? Is it for that holiday or stag do you really want to go on? Are you taking your partner somewhere nice for an anniversary or is it to buy a material gift? All of these are completely good answers and motives to save, so use this as a propellant to keep you on track saving each month! I promise you, this will make your goals of saving more tangible and real.
At the end of the month, go through your statement and reevaluate, see if your budget can be tighter if possible, or if you’re content with what you’re saving then keep it as it! You’re on the right track. Don’t feel guilty for overspending, we all have months where this happen such as Christmas. Realise and understand why, and refocus to save this month.
Here are some helpful apps we found and recommend at Impulse too. They’re worth checking out as this also adds to your source of willpower. The stats can sometimes be easier to understand when it’s right in front of you:
You Need A Budget (https://www.youneedabudget.com/)