This time of year is the perfect time for a financial check up. The idea of budgeting and finance can be overwhelming or just boring. Yet, it plays a vital role in all our lives. With a little planning and a few fun challenges, you can get on top of your money woes and start saving for summer fun.
First things first, sit down with the family and make a list of your income streams for a month. Next, make a list of everything you spend money on. Be sure to include even the smallest of expenditures that are consistent or ongoing. You might want to hang on to receipts and keep track of your bank account for a month before you get started so you can have an accurate budget. There are free online tools to help, find one that suits you and your family.
2. Be Honest
Once you have your budget in writing it may be confronting to see how much money you are spending on things that could seem frivolous. Be honest with yourself and determine what is a need and what is a want. Don’t deprive yourself of all wants, as this will make it hard to stick to a budget. For example, if you find yourself spending too much on your daily coffee, cut down to two coffees a week.
3. Bill Account
Check with your bank for a cheap (possibly free) option of setting up an additional account only for bills. Have a look at your budget and previous bills to work out what bills come out at what time and how much each bill is. Once you have an approximate amount, overestimate how much you need per month and set up a direct transfer into that account on payday.
4. Make it Fun
It can be very stressful to be in a position where you have debts hanging over your head. It’s important to make sure you’re in a good frame of mind and not let it get the better of you. One way to do that is to set yourself a challenge. One my friends set a new years resolution that she wouldn’t buy any new clothes this year.
My husband and I are very competitive so we set ourselves the $20 challenge to see who could go the longest on $20.
You could do the pantry challenge making dinner using only items from your pantry. Be creative, get out of your comfort zone and try to make it fun
5. Set a goal
Nothing motivates you more to save then to have a goal in mind be it a holiday, a fancy pair of shoes or a trampoline. Do some research to find out how much money you’re going to need to make your purchase then set a timeline to figure out how much you need to save per month.
With these tips and tricks you could be on your way to having better finances and less stress. Happy spending.