Budgeting is an effective and simple tool that can help you to get to grips with your finances. Whether you’re looking to start budgeting or are already familiar with how it works, this introductory guide should provide you with some useful tips – or serve as a good place to kick off your budgeting journey.

Why budget?

There are a number of reasons you might decide to start budgeting. Maybe you feel like you are using up too much of your wages or are starting to make an unwanted dent in your savings. Regardless of the reasons, budgeting can help you to identify any potential issues with spending habits and set you on the path to resolving them.

Where do I start?

The best way to get started is to identify how much you’re spending each month, and on what. Bank statements and receipts will be your go-to resources for this, as by using both, you will be able to build up a picture of where you are spending your money. You should also look at your wages to make sure you’re aware of exactly how much you’re being paid monthly.1

Once you have all of this together, you can begin to group up your expenditures. Things like trips to the supermarket, bills, and entertainment memberships will all be charged to you reliably every month so can be easily tracked. You may need to work out averages for bills that differ slightly month-to-month. There will also likely be a number of expenditures that may not be regular charges, such as nights out or cinema trips, which can be grouped up as ‘leisure’ costs.

Putting all of this together can be done in a number of ways. You can use a spreadsheet, find an online budget planner, or download one of any number of useful budgeting apps. It’s all about finding an option that works best for you.

What’s next?

Now that you have your overview, you’ll be able to see whether you’re in a position that you are happy with.

If you’re in the green, great! You have money left over month-to-month that you can start saving towards any goals you may have. If you’re in the red, you’ve got some work to do. There are a few things you can do to start moving in the right direction.

What can I do to get back on track?

If your budget isn’t looking how you’d like it to, don’t panic. There are a number of things you can do…

Cutting down on bills

Household bills can make up a sizeable chunk of your outgoings. Shopping around for better deals, contacting providers to check for better deals, or cutting down on usage are all viable strategies. When doing this, it’s important to ensure that everyone in your household is on board.2

This method is great as it allows you to maintain your current lifestyle while also increasing the amount you save. Once you’ve done this, you can revisit your budget with the revised bills to hand and work your new savings in.

Reducing unnecessary costs

Another effective, though slightly more impactful, change you can make is to reduce certain lifestyle costs. You can start small here, such as cutting down on the amount of coffee you buy or going out for lunch less. While a takeaway coffee every day may not seem like much, you can end up saving hundreds of pounds in the long run if you cut down on these habits.

Moving forwards

Ultimately, the budget you finally settle on needs to work for you, so how it looks will be entirely dependent on your individual circumstances.

Whatever your objectives, having a budget in place will at the very least provide you with an idea of the steps you need to take to achieve them.

Budgeting is an effective and simple tool that can help you to get to grips with your finances. Whether you’re looking to start budgeting or are already familiar with how it works, this introductory guide should provide you with some useful tips – or serve as a good place to kick off your budgeting journey.

Why budget?

There are a number of reasons you might decide to start budgeting. Maybe you feel like you are using up too much of your wages or are starting to make an unwanted dent in your savings. Regardless of the reasons, budgeting can help you to identify any potential issues with spending habits and set you on the path to resolving them.

Where do I start?

The best way to get started is to identify how much you’re spending each month, and on what. Bank statements and receipts will be your go-to resources for this, as by using both, you will be able to build up a picture of where you are spending your money. You should also look at your wages to make sure you’re aware of exactly how much you’re being paid monthly.1

Once you have all of this together, you can begin to group up your expenditures. Things like trips to the supermarket, bills, and entertainment memberships will all be charged to you reliably every month so can be easily tracked. You may need to work out averages for bills that differ slightly month-to-month. There will also likely be a number of expenditures that may not be regular charges, such as nights out or cinema trips, which can be grouped up as ‘leisure’ costs.

Putting all of this together can be done in a number of ways. You can use a spreadsheet, find an online budget planner, or download one of any number of useful budgeting apps. It’s all about finding an option that works best for you.

What’s next?

Now that you have your overview, you’ll be able to see whether you’re in a position that you are happy with.

If you’re in the green, great! You have money left over month-to-month that you can start saving towards any goals you may have. If you’re in the red, you’ve got some work to do. There are a few things you can do to start moving in the right direction.

What can I do to get back on track?

If your budget isn’t looking how you’d like it to, don’t panic. There are a number of things you can do…

Cutting down on bills

Household bills can make up a sizeable chunk of your outgoings. Shopping around for better deals, contacting providers to check for better deals, or cutting down on usage are all viable strategies. When doing this, it’s important to ensure that everyone in your household is on board.2

This method is great as it allows you to maintain your current lifestyle while also increasing the amount you save. Once you’ve done this, you can revisit your budget with the revised bills to hand and work your new savings in.

Reducing unnecessary costs

Another effective, though slightly more impactful, change you can make is to reduce certain lifestyle costs. You can start small here, such as cutting down on the amount of coffee you buy or going out for lunch less. While a takeaway coffee every day may not seem like much, you can end up saving hundreds of pounds in the long run if you cut down on these habits.

Moving forwards

Ultimately, the budget you finally settle on needs to work for you, so how it looks will be entirely dependent on your individual circumstances.

Whatever your objectives, having a budget in place will at the very least provide you with an idea of the steps you need to take to achieve them.

Budgeting is an effective and simple tool that can help you to get to grips with your finances. Whether you’re looking to start budgeting or are already familiar with how it works, this introductory guide should provide you with some useful tips – or serve as a good place to kick off your budgeting journey.

Why budget?

There are a number of reasons you might decide to start budgeting. Maybe you feel like you are using up too much of your wages or are starting to make an unwanted dent in your savings. Regardless of the reasons, budgeting can help you to identify any potential issues with spending habits and set you on the path to resolving them.

Where do I start?

The best way to get started is to identify how much you’re spending each month, and on what. Bank statements and receipts will be your go-to resources for this, as by using both, you will be able to build up a picture of where you are spending your money. You should also look at your wages to make sure you’re aware of exactly how much you’re being paid monthly.1

Once you have all of this together, you can begin to group up your expenditures. Things like trips to the supermarket, bills, and entertainment memberships will all be charged to you reliably every month so can be easily tracked. You may need to work out averages for bills that differ slightly month-to-month. There will also likely be a number of expenditures that may not be regular charges, such as nights out or cinema trips, which can be grouped up as ‘leisure’ costs.

Putting all of this together can be done in a number of ways. You can use a spreadsheet, find an online budget planner, or download one of any number of useful budgeting apps. It’s all about finding an option that works best for you.

What’s next?

Now that you have your overview, you’ll be able to see whether you’re in a position that you are happy with.

If you’re in the green, great! You have money left over month-to-month that you can start saving towards any goals you may have. If you’re in the red, you’ve got some work to do. There are a few things you can do to start moving in the right direction.

What can I do to get back on track?

If your budget isn’t looking how you’d like it to, don’t panic. There are a number of things you can do…

Cutting down on bills

Household bills can make up a sizeable chunk of your outgoings. Shopping around for better deals, contacting providers to check for better deals, or cutting down on usage are all viable strategies. When doing this, it’s important to ensure that everyone in your household is on board.2

This method is great as it allows you to maintain your current lifestyle while also increasing the amount you save. Once you’ve done this, you can revisit your budget with the revised bills to hand and work your new savings in.

Reducing unnecessary costs

Another effective, though slightly more impactful, change you can make is to reduce certain lifestyle costs. You can start small here, such as cutting down on the amount of coffee you buy or going out for lunch less. While a takeaway coffee every day may not seem like much, you can end up saving hundreds of pounds in the long run if you cut down on these habits.

Moving forwards

Ultimately, the budget you finally settle on needs to work for you, so how it looks will be entirely dependent on your individual circumstances.

Whatever your objectives, having a budget in place will at the very least provide you with an idea of the steps you need to take to achieve them.

References

1. moneysavingexpert.com, ‘The Budget Planner’, accessed January 2020
2. moneyadviceservice.org.uk, ‘How to save money on household bills’, accessed January 2020

References

1. moneysavingexpert.com, ‘The Budget Planner’, accessed January 2020
2. moneyadviceservice.org.uk, ‘How to save money on household bills’, accessed January 2020

References

1. moneysavingexpert.com, ‘The Budget Planner’, accessed January 2020
2. moneyadviceservice.org.uk, ‘How to save money on household bills’, accessed January 2020

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