In a culture where thousands of people queue to hand over up to £600 on the day a new phone is released it’s unsurprising that many people are going overdrawn or getting into debt without even realising it.
Whether you’re struggling to control your spending or finding it difficult to pay the bills at the end of each month, being ‘in the red’ is becoming an ever more common issue.
Although being in debt can feel like a life sentence, there are ways you can regain control of your finances. To help, we’ve come up with some suggestions that will help you to spend your money more wisely this summer.
Make a date with a spreadsheet
Surprisingly, one of the most common ways that people lose track of their finances is by ignoring where their money is going or how much is coming in each month. If you don’t keep track of your finances then it can be impossible to avoid spending too much, and even harder to stick to a budget.
Luckily the solution is easy: make a date with a spreadsheet!
Start by calculating exactly how much money comes into your accounts each month, be sure to include everything from your monthly pay to any benefits you may receive, and even any interest you earn.
Next, list your expenses, make a note of everything from your mortgage/rent payments to utilities, grocery costs and any debt repayments you make.
Having all of your income and expenses written down in one place can give you an idea of just how much money you have to spend each month.
Increase your income
It may be easier said than done, but if you can increase your income you can also increase the amount of money you have to spend on yourself each month.
You could grow your income by picking up a second job, doing odd jobs like cleaning and ironing for friends or utilising any skills you have, allowing you to earn an extra income on a freelance basis.
Doing extra work can be tough, but growing your income by even a small amount can make a big difference in the money you have to spend each month.
Become a frugal machine
Once you’ve created a spreadsheet you should have a clear idea of where all your money is going each month and you may find that you’re spending more in areas than you thought.
This is where frugality can be so important! Go through your spreadsheet and see where you could reduce the amount of money you’re spending.
- Switch utility suppliers for a cheaper deal
- Shop at a cheaper supermarket
- Cut back on a few non-essentials like morning coffees and eating out
- Cancel unused TV, magazine and any other contracts you may have
By following these three simple steps you can regain control of your finances.
Have you struggled to manage your finances in the past? Have you ever been in debt? Let us know in the comments below…