Budgeting tips

Start saving money today with these easy to follow steps.

Budgeting can be a scary word, but once you know how to budget properly, it’s hard to imagine going back. Budgeting doesn’t mean scrimping and saving, but is instead just a plan for managing your money and expenses, which can include spending on entertainment, on luxuries and on more of life’s pleasures.

Budgeting is an essential skill to keep you on top of your finances, and these tips will help you get in control of your money.

1. Start a budget

Work out your budget. This will help show you the state your finances are in. This involves looking at how much money you’ve got coming in and going out, your disposable income and what debts you need to pay off.

There are plenty of apps out there that can help you budget if you don’t fancy tracking it yourself. YNAB and Monzo are three popular apps that can help you budget. Some digital banking apps also contain budgeting features. Check out our budgeting apps guide to find one that suits you.

2. Identify where you’re wasting money

After creating a budget, it might be glaringly obvious where you’re throwing money away. You might not have used your gym membership or watched anything on Netflix for months. Your energy bills might be eating into a large chunk of your monthly budget, so you may want to look for ways you can cut them down.

Here are some classic money saving tips:

  • Make lunch for work instead of buying it each day. At £5-a-day lunch could end up costing you over £1,000 a year.
  • A takeaway is a nice treat once in a while when you don’t fancy cooking, but having one too often can really add up. Just £10 a week adds up to over £500 at the end of the year.
  • Impulse shopping is a tough habit to kick, but buying something you don’t need because it’s on sale isn’t saving you any money.
  • When you really do have to buy something online, are you prompted to enter a discount code? If so, look for a deal!

3. Switch and save

Switching is a great way to save money. Whether it’s a credit card or a utility bill, you could save yourself hundreds. The process of switching is quick and simple, and you can search for a better deal in minutes using the Finder website. Some banks even give cash incentives for switching.

4. Pay down debts and build savings

Prioritise paying off any high interest debts first. But once these are out of the way, think about putting some money aside each month. This can help ensure that birthdays or an unexpected car bill don’t catch you out.

5. Save for retirement

Once you’ve built up a habit of saving, you can ramp up the amount you’re putting away each month. You can do this in a variety of ways.

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Charlie Barton was a publisher at Finder. He specialised in banking and investments products, including banking apps, current accounts, share-dealing platforms and stocks and shares ISAs. Charlie has a first-class degree from the London School of Economics, and in his spare time enjoys long walks on the beach. See full bio

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