This is a collaborative post
Knowing your budget for the month and being aware of your outgoings can make general day to day life a lot less stressful. By having no surprises with your accounts and being prepared for life's unexpected, we can stay one step ahead of our finances. Things pop up from time to time, that's life and it can be expensive. The main thing is to be aware from day one, make plans and keep on top of things so we're not diving into the month blindly. Here's a few budgeting tips that we use to help stay afloat that may help to keep a more balanced budget in 2019.
Know your ins and outs
Start each month by writing down everything you have going out for that month (allowing for a few pounds wiggle room) as well as everything you have coming in, for example pay cheques and any benefits or other payments you may receive. This sounds simple, but it's a big help doing the math quick up front and having a heads up on what your budget for the month will be.
Pay for the needs, budget for the wants and save the rest
Make sure your bills and necessities are paid before all else. Decide what are the essentials and get those things covered first. Budget yourself a realistic amount for spending on the 'wants', the things you don't need to survive but would like to indulge in. Any money left over can be potentially saved if nothing unexpected arises.
Know Your Dates
Being organised with our cash is SO important and although it's easy to slip up sometimes, being on top of our payment dates and knowing when things will be leaving your account as well as coming in, makes life a lot easier to manage. Keep a list of dates or even a spreadsheet if you're a fan (like me) to check your dates regularly when needed. Cross them off when they've gone out and keep an eye on your accounts regularly for anything unexpected.
Budget for the week
Once you know you budget for the month after major bills, divide it by the number of weeks in that month so you know roughly what you have to spend and try to stick to it. If you like, you can put some of this aside to save, or save any left over at the end where possible. You may find it easier to withdraw cash for the week as it's a lot simpler to stick things on a card or pay with contactless, but makes you much more conscious of your spending if you hand out real cash.
Plan for the unexpected
Life throws us a lot of curve balls, especially in a family home with things to fix, cars to conk out and pets that like to throw a vet bill or two in the mix for good measure. Always try and have a buffer for the unexpected if you can, so that when these things arise they can be dealt with without incurring debt or causing stress. Although it's not possible for us all to save, even just leaving a little aside each month just in case something comes up can be helpful.
When you need money in a hurry...
No matter how hard we try and budget and plan for the inevitable emergencies, there's always times when we just need money and we need it quick. Even the most organised budget planners can get stumped at times and in those moments there are options, as long as we are careful, have a plan to pay back and read any relevant terms and conditions. There's the options of adding an overdraft which can happen quite quickly and be paid off and removed when you're ready. There's quick loans from places like Cashlady for a speedy cash option or of course credit cards and bank loans for longer term loans with less interest. If it's an option and won't cause problems, you could even consider a loan from friends and family, just make sure the terms are agreed by you all and understood, so there's no issues in the future.
As with all things, financial issues are a lot easier to cope with when there's a little planning, organising and preparation for the unexpected. Do you have any other budgeting tips?