A recent survey by CIPD (Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development) and Close Brothers Asset Management found that 25% of workers reported money worries had affected their performance at work and feeling tired at work because of sleep loss was the most common way in which fretting about money affected job performance.
Families can find themselves carrying a lot of stress related to finances, having to juggle debt, mortgage, loans and day to day finances.
I believe it is extremely important to work to a budget, while it may seem a bit boring it is something that we should all do to take control of our finances and our life, it will also hopefully help you reduce the amount of stress you are under and at the same time allow you to consider reaching your financial dreams.
So how do you budget? Below are my top tips on setting your own.
We all have dreams for the future to gain control of your financial future start by writing down your financial goals. This is a great way to allow you to visualise the goal.
Track your income and expenditure
To get a handle on your finances it is important to list your income and expenditure. Below you will find an income and expenditure tracking form, download it today to help you.
First step is to know your actual income from your salary, benefits, child benefit etc. Once you have this information you can then move on to your expenditure.
Note down your bills and whatever other monthly expenses you have including those trips to the coffee shop or the times you nip in for a pint of milk but end up spending over £20! Check all you statements, your receipts and itemise them to understand where your money is going.
Once you have this detailed information you can create a realistic budget to help you keep track of your monthly budget.
Ways of cutting down
Once you establish your true income and true expenditure have a look and see if there are ways you want to cut down so you can start saving. It may seem a daunting task but break it down in to manageable chunks.
Some tips I recommend is to consider re-negotiating your current services such as mobile, home insurance, broadband and cable TV services with your current providers. However, before calling them visit a cost comparison site such as Go Compare and see if you can get better deals by getting a quote for each of the services.
With this key information to hand contact your current providers and ask them what kind of discount they could give you. Pass on the deals you have found on the cost comparison website. More times than not, they will offer you a discount.
Personally, I have saved hundreds doing this – I know you can too.
Do you have spending leaks?
Once you have established your income and expenditure and decided to get better deals on your household bills, the next stage is to sit down and assess what else you currently spend your money on. You need to be honest with yourself.
Ask yourself the following questions: Why am I spending money on this item? Do I want or need this item? Is it worth that much? Is this purchase trying to make up for some area of my life that is lacking? Is there a less expensive alternative to what I want to buy? If so, why am I not willing to buy the less expensive alternative? What else do I want or need that this money could be used for?
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.
Whatever you decide to do, I recommend you keep your diary close and keep a spending diary so you know exactly where you spend your money.
Consider increasing your income
It’s not just about cutting back it is also about increasing your income. There are many ways to do that.
Head over to the following blog posts to read more on extra ways to make money:
WANT TO MAKE MONEY WITH YOUR OLD RECEIPTS? READ ALL ABOUT IT HERE.
WANT TO EARN GIFT VOUCHERS? READ MY REVIEW OF SWAGBUCKS.
INTERESTED IN KNOWING WHAT A VIRTUAL ASSISTANT DOES AND HOW YOU CAN MAKE MONEY? READ MORE HERE.
WANT TO GET PAID FOR COMPLETING SURVEYS? READ MY POST ABOUT PROLIFIC ACADEMIC HERE.
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