I thought it was about time that Weekendparent.co.uk had a top 5 !
Budgeting was something that I greatly underestimated when I separated from my partner three years ago. Back then I felt like I had plenty of other things to worry about. Looking back I made every excuse possible and because of that I had to make sacrifices later on which I could have avoided.
1. Start a spreadsheet (and review it at least once every month).
I’ve attached my own spreadsheet to this page as a guide. If you can’t account for what you are spending each month you will quickly find yourself relying on credit cards or loans to see you through. Once that happens you will be paying interest on top of your repayments and it becomes a difficult cycle to get out of.
2. Regularly review any debts
It’s inevitable after a life changing situation that there are going to be some tough financial commitments; mortgage payments, solicitors/estate agents fees, moving costs. If you need to use a loan or credit card then don’t just go for the easy options. Spending time beforehand comparing rates and offers can pay huge dividends in the long term. Each month a debt continues there will be interest added so consider whether you have another way to pay it off, or whether transferring your loan or credit card will reduce the amount of interest each month.
3. Join a forum (and learn from others)
No matter how serious your situation I can promise you that 10 minutes on some of the popular debt/savings/extra-income forums will make you feel a lot more at ease, and provide you with a fresh outlook on how to you go about your budgeting.
4. Shop smart (experiment with own brands)
As you stop buying those Gucci handbags, and Ralph Lauren Jeans you’ll still be left with day to day items that you can buy more cheaply. Many own-brands are no different to the big names, and with trial and error you’ll be able to make small savings that will add up over the months.
5. Double your income – get temping
If you still find yourself in debt at the end of this month but have a few hours to spare, then why not get your cv posted quickly and easily to some online job search sites. Temping agencies will advertise local opportunities in your area and there is likely to be something that you can fit in. If time is limited then take a look at ways of earning online with surveys, paid-to-click, text answer services, and many more.
If you have a top budgeting tip that I’ve missed then why not post a comment below?
Weekendparent.co.uk budget template