Making a budget that works for you is a key step of learning to manage your money effectively. But if you’re more of a month-to-month spender, it isn’t always easy to know where to draw the line – especially if you’ve never budgeted before.
To help you get started, we spoke to the experts at the Money Advice Service, who have put together a handy budget calculator to track your spending:
With the Money Advice Service’s budget planner, you’ll be able to put a simple budget together in minutes.
Simply click on the box below, fill out your details (as well as bills, living costs, travel, etc.), and you’ll get a breakdown of where you’re spending:
Making a budget
Learning how to budget effectively isn’t just good for your bank balance – it could also be vital for your mental wellbeing.
Not only are you likely to be less stressed as a result of your newfound financial freedom, you’ll actually be able to cut out any superfluous spending. Not to mention free up funds for the things you actually want to save up for.
And it isn’t necessarily as difficult as you think to get things under control. In fact, there are a few key steps you can take to start budgeting. No matter what it is you’re saving for.
Here are some of our top budgeting tips, to help ensure you start managing your money more effectively:
- Keep track of your spending. Note down all of your outgoings – no matter how big or small. That way you’ll know where your money is actually going.
- Go digital. Looking at your spending habits doesn’t have to be a drag. There are a number of apps out there, such as Toshl and Monzo, which do the hard work for you. They also help group things, so you can see where you need to cut back.
- Set individual budgets. Eating out too much? Overspending on online shopping? It’s time to change. Set a budget for each of the different outgoing groups you have (hint: the budget planner will tell you what they are) – and stick to them.
- Cut costs. It’s not just your morning coffee that might be adding unnecessary strain to your wallet. You could be overpaying on everything from your household bills, to unnecessary subscriptions. Shopping around for your groceries, using price comparison sights, and even switching energy suppliers could all save you hundreds over the course of the year.
- Putting aside some money from each paycheque might seem impossible. But if you’ve cut spending elsewhere, you’d be surprised what you can free up. Having savings means extra security in case a big bill comes in, allowing you to ensure your finances stay on track.
- Keep cards at home. Finally, if you set a daily budget, you need to stick to it. Keeping your credit cards at home will make sure you aren’t tempted to use them for any impulse buys – not to mention keep your interest rates to a minimum.
Looking to earn more money? View all available jobs now
For more advice on how to budget and keeping on top of your spending, get in touch with the Money Advice Service today.
Find a job
Sign up for more Career Advice