Today we have a fantastic guest post from the always elegant Ellen from over at E L Feelgood’s Vintage all about some simple life hacks you can do to keep your finances in check!
Knowing how to keep track of your finances can be difficult so these 8 simple life hacks will hopefully keep your finances in check for you. While you won’t achieve financial freedom with these, you are going in the right direction. So, check them out and let me know if you do any of them or are going to start!
- START A MONEY JOURNAL
It’s important to write down what you spend your money on. Otherwise, you will always be in the dark about what you spend and how much you spend. Start by listing all your income sources and amounts, then for a month note down what you spend your money on. You can do this as you go or keep your receipts and do it at the end of the day. It can be a scary process but it’s necessary if you want to keep your finances in check.
- CREATE A BUDGET
When you know for certain how much income you have coming in and how much you spend from your money journal you are then able to create a budget. Your income journal will be an indicator if you are spending more than you are earning which means that your finances are going in the wrong direction! Once you establish your true income and true expenditure have a look and see if there are ways you can cut down, so you can start saving. It may seem a daunting task but break it down in to manageable chunks.
3. PLUG YOUR SPENDING LEAKS
Once you have established your income and expenditure and created a budget, you can also go one step further by plugging your spending leaks!
Ask yourself the following questions of each item of expenditure: Why am I spending money on this item? Do I want or need this item? Is it worth that much? Is there a less expensive alternative? Give your answers some thought. If you want to stop these spending habits, then put strategies in place to deal with them such as setting a savings target for a holiday.
- INCREASE YOUR INCOME
Another life hack to keep your finances on track are taking on side hustles. They are a great way of making some extra cash beyond your current income. There are several things you can do from starting a blog to completing surveys. You can find a list of side hustles in my post 10 Ways to Make Money Online.
- TRY MEAL PLANNING
Meal planning can help in so many ways, including saving you money and time – honestly, it’s true! It also helps you cut down on waste and can turn what becomes a boring dinner into a lovely feast! People often say to me that they just don’t have the time to plan, however it really doesn’t take that long. Not to mention it saves you tons of money because you are using what is left in your freezer and larder instead of buying food that could end up in the bin!
- USE COUPONS & MONEY SAVING APPS
Couponing is another easy way to save £100’s on your grocery shopping. Whether you are a family, large or small or your grocery shop just for yourself, you can use either printed coupons or download money saving apps such as Shopmium or Checkoutsmart to get free or reduced grocery items.
- USE CASHBACK WEBSITES
If you shop online, then you should be using cashback websites. The most used websites would be Quidco and TopCashBack. They are both well-known free websites which pay you for shopping online! It’s a great way of getting a discount off items you are buying anyway or if you recommend a friend you could get commission.
- TAKE A FREE TRAINING COURSE
Whether you want to take a course for pleasure or if you are considering a career change, why not avail of the free training course from FutureLearn? You don’t have to spend £000’s on courses when there’s an excellent tool for increasing your knowledge for free!
Right now, is most certainly the best time to get your finances in check. Don’t be frightened of the process, it’s always empowering to know your income and expenditure and have a plan in place for keeping them on track. I’ve gone through the above process and always find ways to cut back. In fact, I often go through this process every 6 months especially when it comes to household bills to make sure I’m getting the best deals on the market.
If you have any other awesome ideas to keep your finances in check let me know in the comment section below.
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