4 Simple Ways of Saving Money and Sticking to Your Budget

Managing your finances isn’t exactly rocket science but planning your monthly expenses and sticking to that budget is probably easier said than done. It’s especially so if you’re thinking in the long run. Luckily, there’s a variety of bullet-proof hacks that can help you uphold your monthly budget. 

Here are four simple ways to keep track of your spending and make budgeting smart.

Plan your expenses

The first thing to consider is to review your monthly expenses, from grocery shopping to buying new socks and filling up your petrol tank. The key is planning – the more you do it, the better you get at it!  

Naturally, there will be a few hurdles along the way, and you’ll run into some unexpected expenses, but you shouldn’t let that set you back. The important thing here is to note them and be more careful in future in that regard.  

The best way to start your budget planning is to think short term. Particularly for novices, make a plan for a weekly budget as it’s easier than working out a monthly one. So, take some time at the end of each week and use your computer or an app to make an audit of your own finances. For the following week, besides the necessary expenses, plan a little something for the unexpected. This will make you feel better when you go for a spontaneous meal out.

Monitor your expenses with a savings account

At first thought, budgeting and saving money sounds easy, but for some people, it’s not. To practice self-control and cut down on those unnecessary expenses, it’s a good idea to open a savings account. The bottom line is that you can’t spend what you don’t have, or to be more precise, what you have is locked away in the bank so you can’t spend it on a daily basis.

After you’ve opened your savings account, allocate a monthly amount that will be deposited there automatically. Begin with smaller sums that you gradually increase. This will form a good habit without putting too much pressure on you.

Economize your driving

Owning a car is one of the biggest expenses each family has. Regardless of the distances you cover and the frequency of your driving, spending money on gas is easier than most people imagine. However, if you don’t need to drive every single day, you can still get to places without wasting cash on petrol and repairs. The idea is to use the services of car share that will get you a car whenever you need it much cheaper than if you had to drive your own car. This is a popular idea in many regions of the world, including Australia, and booking is very simple – use an app to hire a car for an hour or the entire day.

Cut back on your utility bills and food

Another useful hack to help you save money is to cut back on your utility bills. These contribute to a considerable amount of your fixed monthly costs, so if you can reduce them, you’ll find yourself saving quite a bit of extra cash.

To minimize your electricity bill, change your energy provider and make sure you’re on the cheapest tariffs on the market. This can help you save hundreds, if not thousands on a monthly basis. You can also replace your old light bulbs with LED light bulbs as they are 75–85% more energy-efficient than a standard one, and last 15 to 25 times longer.

In terms of your heating, invest in a smart thermostat. This gadget cleverly adjusts your central heating, potentially saving you loads of money. Also, inspect your home and seal up any air leaks, particularly around windows and doors. Air leaks increase your electricity bill as your heaters run harder and longer to keep the house warm. The easiest DIY trick here is to use pressure-sensitive weather strips to plug holes and keep warm air inside.

Your food bill is another thing to consider, particularly if you eat out often and buy fast food frequently. Fast food is convenient but it adds up quickly. Preparing your meals is a way to cut your expenses but it can be challenging at times. A menu planning service could provide the help you need to save on your grocery bill. You’ll stop eating out so often and the food you buy won’t go to waste.

Budgeting takes work, especially in the beginning. It will take some clever organising, adjusting and potentially making some lifestyle changes, but you will soon get used to the idea of sticking to your budget. Hopefully, these four budgeting hacks can give you the incentive you need to set up your budget and stick to it once and for all.

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