Category: Budgeting

Tips for Spending on a Low Income

If you have a low income, then you will need to be careful when you are spending money to make sure that you do not overspend. It can sometimes be difficult to manage but there are things that you can do which will help.

Set a Budget

It can be really handy to set a budget so that you do not accidently spend more money than you can afford. For example, you might want to calculate how much you can afford to spend each month, week or even day to make it easier for to decide whether you can afford to buy certain things. You will need to make sure that you have enough money to pay for everything that you need before you allow any money for treats. Do make sure that you are not spending more than necessary for things that you need as this will mean that you will be able to have money available to spend on treats.

Shop Less Often

Sometimes we can be tempted to spend more money when we are shopping. It is hard not to be tempted to buy extra items as a little treat and then get carried away with overspending. Therefore, if we shop less often we will be able to avoid doing this. There will be less opportunity to buy extra items that we do not really need if we go to the shops less often. It can therefore make a big difference. However, do be careful that you do not shop so infrequently for groceries that things go off before you use them as this will waste money.

Use a List

Using a list when shopping can help you to focus on what you need and make sure that you do not buy things you do not need because you forget what you actually want. These can be especially useful if you are in a supermarket or other food market, but they can also be handy when buying other things too. You can also make sure that you only add things to the list that are within your budget and it will ensure that you do not overspend.

Compare Prices

It can be a good idea to compare prices on everything that you are buying, even the cheapest of things. If you can switch to cheaper options then you will save some money and if you can save money on a lot of things, then those savings will add up to be more significant. It is a good idea to think about doing this on all things, not just when in a shop. So, when you are buying online or signing up to phone contracts, renewing your insurance etc, make sure that you do not pay more than necessary. Of course, you want to make sure that you are getting value for money and you do not want to have to replace something quickly because the quality is poor but likewise, you do not want to pay much more than necessary just because you have not checked out the prices.

You will need to be more careful when you are spending money if you are on a low income, but surprisingly it may not be harder than someone on a higher income. Those people on a higher income tend to have higher bills to pay and they will still have to budget carefully to make sure that they do not overspend. Learning how to budget, spend carefully and stay in control of your money is really important and can be useful for your whole life so it is well worth practising.

How to Make Budgeting a Breeze

Budgeting can seem like hard work. Having to keep track of what we are spending and making sure that we are not spending too much and leaving enough money for what we need can feel like a real drag. However, there are things that you can do to make it a lot easier.

Remind Yourself Why You are Doing it

It can be a really good idea to keep reminding yourself of why you are budgeting. It is likely that you have a real purpose and it might be that you are saving or something, trying to repay a loan or just ensuring that you make ends meet. It is wise to write this goal down and then stick it somewhere prominent, such as on a mirror that you look in regularly. Then you will have a constant reminder of why you are being so careful with your spending and it will feel much more worthwhile. It can be good to also think about how good it will be to achieve this goal so it makes it even more motivating.

Get into Good Habits

As you get into good spending habits then it will become much easier. Doing things like comparing prices or asking yourself if you really need things are really good habits to get into as they will ensure you do not overspend without realising it. The more you do this, the easier it will be and you will therefore find that eventually you will do it without even thinking about it. Remembering that this is a positive thing and that it will benefit you will help as well.

Make it Fun

There are different ways that you can make it fun depending on what you like. It can be fun to keep a note of how much money you are saving and try to spend less and less each day, week or month to have a competition with yourself. It can be rewarding to set a target and see if you can meet it as well. You could also compete with other family members to see who can reduce what they spend the most. You could look for deals on insurance, utilities etc and see who can find the best as well.

Carry Figures with you

It can be easier to keep track of everything if you carry the figures with you. Having a drawn-up table or a spreadsheet can really help which you could either have on your phone or in a notebook. Writing down each purchase you make or how much each shopping trip costs will really help. Not only will you notice what you are spending more and the prices of things, if you have to write them down, you will also be more aware of them and this will help you to think about whether you think that they are value for money.

Avoid Temptation

Once you have calculated how much you are going to try to spend and ways that you can cut down it can get much easier. One of the hardest things might be to resist temptation though. Often, we like to treat ourselves to a few things and this means that we can have a tendency to overspend. It is worth identifying where we are when we do this. It could be that if we going out into town then we just end up buying things and so by avoiding going there then we can stop that. It might be that we get tempted by things by the tills when queuing and if this is the case find something else to do, such as noting down the details of the items you are about to buy and then you will hopefully not notice them. Also try to shop with a lost and stick to it so that you do not spend too much that way.