It’s no secret that we all have a finite amount of money to spend. It’s therefore important to know how and where to spend your money wisely, to prevent yourself from having financial trouble down the line. In this article, we’ll discuss some practical pieces of advice for anyone who wants to learn more about smart spending.
Budgeting Is The Key
If you use your bank statements to track your spending, it will help you know where all of your money is going instead of merely guessing. You can either use special software or a simple Excel spreadsheet to list all your essential monthly bills. They would include the cost of food and accommodation and the running costs for your car. Once you’ve compared the total to your monthly income, add some non-essentials and luxuries if you can afford them.
If you regularly monitor your spending and compare it to your monthly budget, you’ll find out how much money is remaining for the rest of the month. The goal is not to spend it all, however. Any surplus can be put into a savings account or added to next month’s budget.
The internet is a great place to gain extra wisdom on the subject of finance. There are specialist websites that can help you plan for your money and prioritize your spending. There are also helpful blogs that discuss whether you can win real money with mobile games and whether you should buy, lease or finance your next smartphone. Whether you want tips on travel, side hustles, or ways to save money, it’s all there.
Make A List Of Your Priorities And Stick With It
If you’re really struggling financially, it’s important to identify the few things that are most important and prioritize them. They should include things like utility bills rather than designer clothes and luxury holidays. Don’t go shopping the minute the latest trend arrives. It may also be that you’ll need to save up before you can fully enjoy some of your hobbies and pastimes.
There may be some things you can sell in order to release some extra funds. Don’t buy new books when you can just rent them from the library. Also, consider whether you can buy some quality items second-hand rather than new.
Ideally Use Cash, Not Credit Cards
It’s better not to buy something you can’t afford than to rely on credit. It’s good practice to use cash for all of your purchases and payment plans, but research shows that the majority of people are still finding themselves relying on credit cards as a way to pay for their expenses.
The problem with credit cards is that the cash isn’t gone from your wallet, so it’s easy to spend more. Added to that it can be easy to miss payments and end up with high-interest rates and spiraling debt. Whilst credit cards often provide additional benefits, it’s essential to use them wisely.
Make A Shopping List Beforehand
The list should contain everything you need, from groceries to clothes. Write down the items and their corresponding prices beforehand by using the internet. Whilst this will take extra time, it will be easier to find the best deals and to save you having to go from shop to shop comparing prices.
Another word of wisdom is to never go food shopping on an empty stomach. Stick to your list and don’t be tempted by the cakes and chocolate!
Try To Buy In Bulk
If you do this, it should save you money. Having said that, some supermarkets can be devious so it’s worth checking the math first. Some items you can buy in bulk are cleaning products, toiletries, and things for the kitchen. If they are perishable, however, make sure you can use them all up before the expiry dates.
While bulk pricing has its benefits, other factors need to be considered such as storage space (if you’re living in tight quarters), transportation costs, and safety.
It’s worth buying directly from manufacturers online, as this can save you money. Also keep an eye on the end-of-season sales, New Year sales, and Black Friday deals. Keep a lookout for coupons and loyalty cards too.
As you can see, there are many ways to spend your money wisely. Be proactive with your budgeting and monitoring, and plan for the future too. Be sure to put an emergency fund in place to cover unexpected costs. When you do these things, your money will be your servant rather than your master.