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The Do’s and Don’ts of Budgeting

Posted by Debbie Fletcher | Posted in Uncategorized | Posted on 07-08-2013

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Since 2008 and the global financial melt down we’ve all had to learn how to tighten our belts and budget responsibly. Sadly, this is something we’re still living with today. These are the top do’s and don’t that lead to the success or failure of most people living on a budget.

The Do’s…

Do take the time to record all your monthly outgoings. By sitting down for 20 minutes each month and looking at exactly how much came in at the start of the money and what went out you can gage how well you’re doing. Even by doing this with a pen and paper you can identify your areas of over spend and correct.

Do look into how you can spend less. This can be as simple as opening up your cupboards and making a note of next time you shop what branded items can be swapped for cheaper own label items. Or it could mean a change in behavior, such as, limiting alcohol intake to one night a week.

Do shop around. There are every day spends and larger necessary investments you will still need to make. But by getting a feel for the whole market you can judge for your self if you’re getting good value for money.

Do understand what you’re paying for. This is especially important for larger spends. Taking the time to unearth what goes into a costing, such as, understanding car insurance rates, can help you save hundreds.

Do look into how you can supplement your income. This could be as small scale as starting to sell items on eBay or getting a part time job. If you have a particular passion and a flare for writing setting up your own blog and monetizing it can be a good earner, although this is a long-term strategy.

The Don’ts…

Don’t panic. Something much easier to say than it is to do, but essential to conquering your budgeting crisis.

Don’t take the time to identify your areas of over spend then go ahead and ignore what the numbers are telling you. You will never be able to effectively budget until you can realize the impact your spending has and then be able to make a meaningful change in your behavior.

Don’t slip into the habit of indulgences. Until you’ve reached your goal and you’re back in the black don’t reward yourself. Harsh, but it really is as simple as that. Once you’ve broken your resolve you’re destined to be a repeat offender and let unnecessary spends creep back in.

Don’t be fooled by promotions. Price promotions in store contrary to popular belief don’t always offer you the best value for money. This can be a ploy by branded products to convince you that you’re getting their quality for less, but take the time look beyond the sticker and see what’s your best price to the weight of the product.

Don’t be afraid to ask for help. There resources at your fingertips set up by the government to help you out of your financial situation. This also means to a certain extent, swallowing your pride and accepting help from others. For example, you could save a fortune in child-care costs if you could agree a day each week for friends or family to look after your child.

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