‘When I was a child, I spoke like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I gave up childish ways.’ - Corinthians 13:11
As we get older our ideals, dreams and ambitions change as reality sets in and we become focussed on paying bills, supporting our family and simply surviving in a harsh economy. Our dreams take a back seat. That doesn’t always need to be the case, with some careful planning and budgeting you could free up some extra cash to follow a dream. Maybe it’s a holiday to an amazing destination or fixing up an old classic car, whatever your dream is, these tips will help you get there.
- Create a budgeting sheet. Google have a great free one to use https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1Ch4Uj25jLHg8YUjx_hGxGOgbwBxi6RN-p_2G1798Ll4/edit A popular way of budgeting is the 50-20-30 rule:
50% of your income on living costs and essentials
20% of your income on savings
30% of your income on spending, including mobile phone bills and gym membership
- Once you can see where your money is going, as scary as it may seem at the time, it will help you see where the potential to save money is.
- Utilities – shop around for the best deal. Use sites such as www.confused.com and www.moneysupermarket.com to help you.
- Food – make a list and stick to it. Opt for stores own brands which are very often the exact same product as a known brand just packaged differently. Plan your meals ahead so you have exactly what you need. Net Mums have great tips on buying food on a budget https://www.netmums.com/life/ideas-for-frugal-living
- Mobile Phone/Internet/TV etc. If you are out of contract or close to the end, shop around for a better deal. Go back to your existing provider with quotes, chances are they will match your deals rather than lose you as a customer.
- Bills - If you are struggling to pay your bills then get in touch with the company you owe and sort out a payment plan with them. They are happy to help if you are feeling the pinch in your finances and would rather you pay something than nothing at all.
- Use a broker to find you the best deals around. A broker has access to a whole host of companies and will save you a lot of time in the long run.
- If you are a business owner, speak to your Accountant. They will be able to sit down with you and discuss a budgeting plan. They will look at your income and expenditure and will be able to offer you the very best advice.
- Shop on the internet for clothing and electrical goods. Be a savvy shopper and do your research. Many products will be on sale on one website and not on another. Shop around for discount codes too. https://www.vouchercodes.co.uk Consider buying second hand. Quite often you can find what you are looking for that has been barely used or even brand new, for a fraction of the RRP. Try Facebook Market Place or Shpock.
- Enjoy spending the money that you save on recapturing your dreams, whatever they may be.