If you often feel like you’re not in control of money or if you find it difficult to save, this can be an indication that your household is spending more than it’s making, sinking you deeper into debt.
It doesn’t have to be this way! Being more money aware and in control of a budget doesn’t mean cutting out all the fun little pleasures you currently enjoy.
Tips to get on top of your finances
First of all, create a visual representation of what’s going out of your account. Whether its an excel spreadsheet, an expenses diary or a financial road map, having your expenses in front of you makes clear how many unnecessary expenses you have. Ask yourself three questions:
- How necessary are these items?
- How much of a change do I need to make to reduce this cost?
- How much will getting rid of it impact on my quality of life?
Using this approach will help you control and spend money with intention, helping you establish savings.
Create financial goals
There is nothing better than achieving a goal. It makes all the hard work worth it and encourages you to create other goals. Sit down with your partner and work out what you both would like to save for. Whether it’s for a new TV, car or holiday, when you see your savings build up, it will urge you both to continue to budget and control spending.
Being money aware
Budgeting makes you aware of what goes in and out of your account, where your money is going and how far your money takes you.
Make better choices when it comes to purchases – be aware of price comparisons. For example how much does 1 kg of beef cost at the butcher versus Whole Foods, Costco, Safeway or your local supermarket.
Being aware of special deals in regards to bills such as electricity, gas or groceries can help you save money to put towards your financial goals.
Early warning signs
Another advantage of being in control of your budget is that you will be able to spot the early warning signs for potential debt. Perhaps the car insurance and registration are due during winter, the most expensive quarter for bills in a lot of households. By spotting these you can make alternative arrangements such as payment plans a few months before due dates to ease the pressure of multiple bills at one time.
Budgeting and being in control of your money doesn’t mean reducing your quality of life, it just means being smarter about making your money go further. It takes commitment and planning but if you persist, it can mean new experiences for your family, common goals for you and your partner, bringing you both closer together and communicating more, saving you both from bad spending habits.