If you struggle to manage your personal finances, you’re far from alone. Since the 2007 financial crash and with the economic recovery proving very slow, household budgets have been squeezed for the majority of us and borrowing and debt have become just a normal part of life for many. If you’re ready to fight back and get better control over your finances, here are a few practical ways you can change your financial habits and reduce your money worries.
Some people find it useful to break down exactly how much of their household budget is being spent where. Draw up a list of your monthly outgoings which includes everything from phone contracts to rent, and spend a couple of weeks monitoring how much goes on groceries and other things which can vary. When you do a supermarket shop, always take a list and stick to it to reduce the temptation for costly impulse buys. It’s also worth setting a budget limit if you don’t already have one, and treat it as a competition to see how much you have left over at the end of the week.
While we might once have recommended a good old-fashioned spreadsheet for tracking your spending, these days there are some excellent free apps you can download which will help you monitor where the money’s going – GoodBudget, Pocket Expense and Expensify are all worth investigating.
Once you know where the majority of your budget is being spent, it’s easier to identify areas where you can trim the fat. If you think you could get a better deal on your energy bills, for example, begin to shop around – and don’t be afraid to bargain.
Getting out of debt
Debt is a very scary thing, and the faster you escape it, the better. If your household is already paying off debts, it’s always worth seeking good financial advice from someone like the Debt Advisory Services (Scotland) to help you plan and manage repayments – that way you can keep track of the money going out and budget for the long-term.
For advice and support in getting your debt under control, contact us today and take the first step in changing your financial habits.