We could all do with a little extra money at the end of the month, in fact sometimes we simply need it. You never know when an emergency will arise, so it’s no good going through life with just enough to get by, it’s important to build up your own savings just for emergencies. But how can you find extra money to save when it always seems to run out before payday? We have some simple tips to share with you on how to do just this.
Food is one of our biggest, utterly unavoidable expenses. But just because we need it to survive, doesn’t mean we can’t save money on it. Setting out a meal plan can help make sure you only buy ingredients that you’re going to use and stop food going to waste when it goes off before you get a chance to use it.
Meal plans are easy once you get the hang of them, start by listing all the ingredients you already have and find some recipes that use these ingredients. Add any extra ingredients you’ll need to your list and when shopping, try your hardest not to stray from the list so you don’t end up with more than you need. And it’s true what they say about shopping on an empty stomach, don’t do it!
After shopping, your household has a collection of other fixed monthly expenses that want to eat away at your pay check. Some of these may avoidable, do you really need that gym membership when you only go once a month and you’d be better off going for a run for free? What about that subscription to a magazine you always forget to read? If you have a Netflix account do you really need cable, or vice versa?
Other things you can’t simply cut from your life, but you can always shop around for a better offer. Take a look these deals for broadband from usave.co.uk. Is your energy provider giving you the best service? How about your insurance, you could probably save a great deal by with a different policy. You could even save money on your mortgage when you consider remortgaging. Putting in a little research can make all the difference.
Now that you’ve reduced your monthly out goings, you need to learn how to properly assess what you have coming in and what’s going out. Add up your new (hopefully reduced) list of vital expenses and take this away from your monthly wage. Next, try and commit to saving 20% of your pay as soon it comes in, if absolutely necessary you can always access it again at the end of the month, but the idea is to forget about it.
If you’ve set aside 15% for food, what you have left should be around 30% and is your spending money. Divide it by four to get your weekly spending guideline, try not to go over, otherwise you’ll have to tuck into what you are supposed to have saved. That final cut is for weekend activities, the occasional meal out, buying clothes, etc, but if you go careful, you might find you don’t even need all of what’s left and can add it to your savings, ready to call upon when really needed.