The His & Hers team knows all too well that the word budgeting doesn’t lift our mood in quite the same way that the word shopping does! However, with many people around the world having to make their budgets stretch a little further this month, we thought it was a good time to look at a few ways to take control of your finances, even during stressful times.
Make a list
We know this sounds like really old-fashioned advice, but if you’re planning your weekly food shop (especially right now, when securing an online grocery slot in the UK is taking a little more patience than usual) we’d highly recommend writing a list of what you need. Not only will this help you avoid the frustration of running out of everyday essentials that you’ve forgotten to re-purchase. It will also help you to avoid making any impulse purchases and to stick to a budget.
Take a balanced approach
When budgets are tight, it can be necessary to review all of your outgoings and check that you don’t have any non-essential direct debits or expensive habits. However, when you get to the point where you’re on top of your spending and you can afford to allocate some budget for fun stuff, this can be a great way to reward yourself for all your hard work and enjoy a treat or two. This could mean treating yourself to your favourite coffee, or placing a small bet on your fantasy football team at work. If you’re doing this for the fun of competing with your colleagues and to make money if your team win, you could always nudge the odds in your favour by using one of the online tools that make football predictions. This is also a great way to look like a football expert virtually overnight!
If you’re on a mission to reduce your debts, or are feeling overwhelmed, look out for free services, such as the Citizens Advice service, where volunteers offer advice regarding debt and money. There are a lot of free online resources for setting budgets or working on a savings fund and your bank may also have some free online resources to help you track your spending or savings goals.
Enlist some help
If you tell your friends and family that you’re working hard on budgeting, they’re likely to start thinking about ways of supporting you – whether it’s by looking out for savings on the things they know you buy regularly or simply thinking ahead and taking the pressure off over things like Christmas presents, wedding presents, or that big family holiday everyone’s been planning next year. Admittedly, it can be really hard for most of us to talk honestly about money, but when we do, we’re putting ourselves in a much better position in terms of getting help, advice and support.
You might also enjoy: Five things that may make you feel happier.