How To Get On Top Of Your Personal Finances

how to get on top of personal finances

It can be hard to get on top of your personal finances when there is always a sale on, a new bill coming in, and confusion on how much you need to budget for. There are little things you can get into the habit of doing every month to help you take back power over your credit card debt and overall expenses. When broken into simpler steps that you can incorporate into your everyday life, you can more easily make ends meet. Here are a few ways to consider doing so within your daily actions. 

1. Create A Budget 

This may sound like the hardest part, however, creating a budget is integral to getting on top of your personal finances. At the start of the month, work out the approximate amount you will owe in bills for the whole month so you can determine how much money you will need to put aside. Calculate in a budget for your weekly groceries, petrol and other expenses that you deem absolutely necessary, for example, if it is your mother’s birthday this month, you need a gift budget. 

Organising how much money you need into an actual amount becomes a tangible savings goal. Without this final calculation, you may think you have enough to splurge, however when the end of the month comes, you will realise you are behind. Over time, developing a contingency or emergency fund as part of this budget can be beneficial in times of need, such as a car breakdown. 

2. Limit Everyday Expenses 

Do you buy coffee and lunch every day? This is a huge chunk of your income going to waste. Whilst you do not need to go cold turkey, you can buy lunch only on a Friday and meal prep every other day, also look for creative ways to save money. It is worth spending an hour or two on your weekend to make food for the week so you are not tempted to buy lunch every day. If it is a Friday, try to find the best lunch deal available by actually searching beforehand or looking on Groupon for deals. 

As for coffee, make it at home before coming into work and bring it in a KeepCup. Try to only purchase coffee when you are out with a client, and notice how much you start saving per week. It may be hard at first if you are used to a spending routine, but it does get easier! 

3. Get On Top Of Your Credit Card Debt 

If you are feeling overwhelmed by a credit card debt looming in the background, it is time to seriously work towards paying it off. Firstly, stop adding to your debt. With a few savings techniques and a budget, you can track where your money is really going. Here is a good guide to help repayments and balance transfers. 

4. Move Into Savings 

Ensure you are moving your money into your savings account every time you are paid, thus you are less likely to leave it in your spending account and be tempted. To do this, minus your calculated bill expenses that you budgeted from your income, and then assess how much of your income is left. From this, set a percentage for savings, this should be around 50% of the leftover money. Once the money is moved into savings, you must pretend that it does not exist, and therefore it cannot be spent on items like takeaway, clothes and more. Here is a list of items you need to stop spending money on so you can actually generate savings. 

5. Staying In 

Are you a person that finds it hard to say no to going out and spending? This tip is for you. When someone asks you to go out, and you do not want to cancel because you want to spend time with that person, offer to spend the night at home together. Perhaps you can watch a movie, play Xbox, drink some wine and spend a fraction of the amount you would have spent if you went out. 

Another idea would be to cook something fun together, even if it is as simple as pasta or pancakes! You could even run an at-home ‘paint and sip’ session right in your living room. You can be entertained for hours without drastically eating into your savings account. It is okay to say no to going out when you are working on saving, and you will definitely not feel as bad if you find cheap ways to still have fun with your friends anyway

Overall, these are just a few tips you can take on board when trying to organise your personal finances. By gaining budgeting skills, working on your credit card debt solutions, and still seeing your friends without the hefty ‘going out’ price tag, you can start seeing dramatic changes to your financial situation. Skip out on the unnecessary everyday expenses and start feeling less stressed about making ends meet at the end of each month.

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