Saving money always seems hard till you start doing it. The added income towards your home down payment or retirement fund will keep you motivated to continue practicing your saving ways. Continuing to save money when your income has been affected by the pandemic will require you to get creative, but it is still possible. Especially if you are saving money for a home, this is the best time to keep building up the funds for that goal. The housing market is experiencing a downturn, and you may be able to meet some reduced down payment amounts.
Adhering to a budget is crucial, as well as re-evaluating the way you spend money. Consolidating your loans can allow you to pay a lower monthly amount than you do now. Buying a used SUV gives you a good versatile vehicle that has the same utility as a new one but at a reduced price. Setting up automatic deductions for necessary bills like power and water leaves you with a more accurate understanding of the sum of money you have to re-order and budget.
Build a Budget
The best way to build a budget that works for you is to use a free budgeting app or even join a budgeting course. Setting budgeting goals can be difficult when you are doing it for the first time. A budgeting app can help you identify the areas you need to be concerned about and list them according to their importance.
A budgeting course will require some investment, or you can look for a free seminar or webinar conducted by a reputable accounting firm as part of its CSR activities. This seminar can help you set budgeting goals, teach you different methodologies for approaching budgeting, and give you a more comprehensive idea of how to get started.
Outsource Your Budget
If you can afford it, the easiest way to budget is to hire a financial advisor. They will help to arrange your finances more cohesively and help to put you on a budget. You will need to check with them regarding purchases, and they will check in with you if you go over your weekly or monthly budget and suggest ways to reduce.
The problem with this method is the need to be answerable as some people find it difficult to be accountable to someone else for their money. In addition, if you hand over your financial planning to someone, even if they are a professional, you may not learn the lessons you need to from this experience.
Prioritize Your Debt
Paying off your debts monthly can cut into your finances a great deal. It also limits you in several ways, from when you need financing to lowering your monthly take-home pay. If you bear down and concentrate on eliminating your debt as quickly as possible, you will find that it eases your financial situation a great deal. This method will require a great deal of sacrifice in the short term, but the long-term benefits are worth the effort.
Once you begin tracking your expenses, you will be amazed by how much money you spend on food. Takeaway food and eating out may seem like a good way to save time, but it can be a very expensive habit in terms of money.
Shopping without a set grocery list could also be causing you to spend more money than you need. Consider starting small by shopping in supermarkets instead of boutique grocers. Look for coupons and memberships that allow you to save money or gain points that can go towards lowering your overall bill.
Make takeout food and eating out into special occasion only meals. This will add to your enjoyment as well as help you to avoid spending too much. Meal prep is a good way to avoid having to spend too much time deciding what to eat and cooking every day. If you prep and store two different meals in the fridge, you will have a bit more variety in addition to the convenience.
Entertainment can be a big expense that people struggle to let go of even though it can significantly reduce your monthly spending. Sit down with your family and negotiate down to one streaming service. Not having to pay for multiple streaming services will reduce your bills a great deal.
Start looking for entertaining activities that do not require as much or any money spent. Potluck dinner parties and backyard barbecue hangouts still allow you to socialize without too much expenditure.
You can take your children for walks to the park or hikes every weekend instead of staying at home on a streaming service. These are great ways to stay entertained and avoid boredom while improving your family’s overall health and fitness.