Do you find it a challenge to save money? Many of us take the wrong approach to our spending, and don’t always know that we are doing it. If we find something we want on sale, we tend to think that we are “saving” money, when in reality, we are simply spending less. Not that there is anything wrong with buying what you want on sale-in fact, one of the money saving tips we will discuss in this article is how to plan out the things you want to buy and then finding them at a discount whenever possible. There are a few simple things you can do to help yourself save money, and don’t worry, they don’t involve freezing your credit card in a block of ice-unless of course that is a necessity for you….
A major part of revamping your finances is simply getting organized. There are dozens of tips and tricks for saving money and spending less money every month, but before you start to put these in place, you need to have an idea of what you are actually spending on a regular basis. There are many things to get in order if you are trying to reorganize your finances. First of all, you must get an accurate picture of where all of your money is going. Many people assume that they have a general idea of what they spend every month. This can be easy to lose track of though, and if you don’t know where your money is going, how can you use it more effectively? You absolutely need something written down showing what you are spending money on. Take the time to track all of your purchases for a month and put it in writing so you can see where all of your hard earned money is being spent. You may be surprised to see that you tend to spend an extra fifty or even a hundred dollars on necessities like food or gasoline. This step isn’t for making you feel guilty. On the contrary, you probably shouldn’t slash the amount you spend on groceries in half. It’s just good to know how much you need every month in order to buy groceries. Once you know where all of your money is being spent, you are prepared for the next step: creating a budget.
Many people are intimidated by the idea of creating a budget. It seems like something complicated that only an accountant or someone very good at math can put together. A budget is really little more than a list. Think of a budget as something that just gives you a general structure though. It is designed to meet your needs, and you can alter it as your circumstances change. Always start with the expenses that stay the same every month, for example a rent payment or other stable bill. Once you deduct these planned expenses, you can a lot the rest to purposes like saving, groceries, clothing, entertainment, or as many budget categories as you like. Keep track of how much income you receive, and then plan what categories you want to a lot it to. You can keep it simple, with just a “spend, save, give” model, or come up with particular categories to reflect your lifestyle. For example, if your hobby is gardening, you will probably want to have a section for materials. Similarly, if you are a fashion editor, you probably spend a bit more on clothing than others do, and that is fine, as long as you plan for it and it fits into your budget.
If you need some temporary help as you get your new budget set up, you should consider ways of getting some help. There are a multitude of free outlines and templates available online. Some of these have categories and formulas you don’t need, however, so make sure that you are only spending time on a format that fits your life. There are also a variety of digital devices and programs that were invented to help you manage your finances.
Once you have your basic budget plan in place, you can start trimming away extra spending dollars by using money saving strategies. For example, there are a variety of publications designed to helping people understand how to save money. You can find some of these tips at the following sites: http://debtfreemagazine.com/ and http://www.stepchange.org/. Some of these ideas include ways to spend less money on things that you have to buy anyway. For example, did you ever think that are particular days of the week that large stores like Target put different items on sale? Depending on which day you shop, you might find great deals on home décor items, clothing, or baby items. These strategies can be a fun way to save money. Words with friends games