Are you constantly living on the brink of bankruptcy? Do you have trouble saying no to a new pair of shoes? It’s probably time you developed some healthy spending habits. Budgeting and saving can take effort, but it all starts by being aware of your everyday financial activity, and cutting out the little things. Here are a few tips to help sort your savings, that you can incorporate into your daily routine.
1. Don’t be hasty
Some people call it the 30-day rule: if you see something you like, don’t buy it immediately. Wait 30 days and if you still want it, you have earned your permission to buy it. Why wait? Because given some time, you may have realised that the hot pink crop top was actually a terrible idea and if you didn’t buy it, you could have paid your phone bill on time! It helps prevent impulse purchasing and, therefore, unnecessary spending!
2. Make lists
A shopping list isn’t just help jog your failing memory. It can also stop you from buying things you don’t need. When it comes to grocery shopping, you might also want to make a weekly meal plan in order to get the exact ingredients you need, saving you from doubling-up, missing out, and having to return to the supermarket several times a week.
3. Log your spending
This should be the first thing you do if you want to monitor and cut back your spending. Start by logging your daily expenses, and pin point where you need to cut back. For example, I spend too much money eating out. Therefore, I’ve made a conscious decision to limit the number of times I get take-away, take my lunch to work, and if I know I have a big night out coming up, I’ll find other ways to save that week.
4. Cut back on treats for the kids
If you have kids, keep in mind that, despite what advertisers tell you, it doesn’t take the latest toys and gadgets to entertain them. A healthy child should have a healthy imagination, and being resourceful during play time is not only beneficial for your child’s development, but also for your budget. While most of us will know how easy it is to give in to an epic tantrum at the mall, try to take these things in your stride, don’t yield to poor behaviour (reward them when they’re good), and remember that it will all be over soon, and your kids will find other things to do.
5. Turn off the TV
This is not only great for saving on electricity bills, you will also avoid the constant onslaught of television advertising and product placement that piques your desire to shop! Added bonus: You will have more time to spend doing things you enjoy and are practical. Using your time efficiently is invaluable.
Short-term loans have received a lot of bad press over recent years. This was mainly as a result of exorbitant interest rates, administrative fees and other costs. Yet for many, a short-term loan is a viable option to get out of financial trouble. Here are six reasons why you might need to access a short-term loan.
The bargain of a lifetime
Holidays are always important. If you’ve spotted a travel agent’s deal that’s too good to miss, then as long as you’ve done all of the sums and know that you can afford the repayments, a short-term loan will prove to be a welcome solution to any cash strapped shopper. Why not click here to see if you can afford a logbook loan. Unlike payday loans, you can repay the amount borrowed in small regular amounts until the debt is repaid.
No one wants to be locked into a debt
If you’ve borrowed money, you don’t want to be locked into a repayment schedule that will prove costly and possibly inconvenient. You may even forget why you took out the loan in the first place. According to the website Money Saving Expert if you shop around you can still access a cheap short term loan, this might be through 0% introductory credit card offers or even a 0% overdraft rate with a new bank account. As long as you can prove that you have a good credit rating, this type of offer is the ideal way to source a short-term loan.
The future is always a mystery
If you’ve worked out your budget for the foreseeable future and you are confident that you can meet your loan repayments, then a short-term loan is perfect for most purposes. No one has a crystal ball. Illness or accidents, or even recessions can occur at any time, so borrowing for a short period of time may be safer than a long-term debt.
Manage your debts
A recent article in The Guardian highlighted the dangers of debt. Non-mortgage borrowing has reached a staggering £10,000 per household across the UK, or £239 billion in total and this figure is set to grow. This figure does include unavoidable student loans, which amounted for £9.1 billion of the £19.7 billion increase in 2014, and personal debt including loans and overdrafts amounted to £6.4 billion. If you want to manage your finances, a short-term loan that’s repaid within a fixed term may be your best option.
You need money quickly
If you need funds in an emergency and don’t have time to wait for a bank’s decision on an overdraft, or your credit card is maxed out, then a short-term loan is perfect. You’ll be able to respond to the emergency and repay the money in over a short period of time.
Always read the terms and conditions
Loans vary from company to company. Despite new regulations governing this financial sector you’ll still find that some loans are more expensive than others. As long as you understand the repayment schedule and all of the connected charges, then this type of loan can bail you out of a difficult financial situation.
Get Set by 30 is a fantastic new book by award-winning writer Annette Sampson that will have you on the road to financial security and wealth as you head into your thirties. From saving, super and smart home ownership this little gem has it all covered in language that’s not going to make your eyes glaze over.
Get Set by 30 is a straightforward question-and-answer guide that will help you handle very money-related question life throws at you with the poise of a finance professional. Whether you’ve got $50 in the bank or are earning $50,000 a year, you can start managing your money to enjoy the life you deserve.
Here’s a sample of Annette’s sound advice, focussing on saving money…
10 savings ideas to get you started
- Cutting out just one packet of cigarettes a week, or one or two drinks, will save you as much as $10 a week.
- Unless you’ve got the system rigged, gambling is money down the drain. Rethink your attitude to things like poker machines, scratchies and Lotto.
- Take your lunch to work. Even doing this just one day a week will save money.
- Takeaways and pre-packaged meals are expensive. Rediscover or discover the fun of cooking. Pasta and red wine with friends at home is cheap as well as fun.
- try to do your shopping in one go rather than continually dashing to the corner shop. Consider cheaper brands where you don’t lose out on quality, and don’t shop on an empty stomach.
- Try cutting back to just the magazines you really can’t live without. Avid book reader? Scour second-hand stores, share with friends or join a loyal library to supplement your purchases.
- Technology has made out lives much better, but it’s also added to our expenses. Do you really need unlimited Internet access? Are you on a cost-efficient mobile phone plan? How often do you watch all the channels on Pay TV?
- Are you using your phone cost-effectively and taking full advantage of the cheaper off-peak rates and other special offers?
- Consider cheaper alternatives in entertainment. Maybe it’s the movies that incur unexpected costs – why not rent a video one night a month instead?
- Buying a second-hand car – rather than the new ego-driven model – can save you heaps!
from Get Set by 30 by Annette Sampson ($22.95, Allen & Unwin). For more fantastic tips on saving money and sorting your life out in general, get Get Set by 30. Available in good bookstores everywhere!
It is good practice to give your finances an annual ‘clean out’. Not only with you get things in order, you may be able to take advantage of new deals and save month at the same time. Here’s a few steps to follow:
- Get a better deal. If paying off your credit card debt is more of a priority than reward points, switch to a low interest rate car.
- Spot check your savings and investments. Collect statements from all of your savings and investment accounts and check them against last years to see how much they have changed. Then review them against your goals to see if they are still appropriate to your goals.
- Put some order into your money paperwork. If you haven’t already done so go out and buy a portable file or some folders and put all your bills, bank statements etc in an ordered filing system. It will take a bit of getting used to but once you get into the habit you won’t know how you survived beforehand.
- Monitor your mortgage. Run your eye down all of your statements and see if all payments etc are being put into your account properly. While you are there check out how many years you have to go before you pay off the loan. It may also pay to have a chat to a mortgage expert to see id there are nay better deals at that time as well.
- Check up on your health insurance. Compare your fund with the others in the marker and if you can find a cheaper alternative (for the same cover as you have now) and take it.
- Clean up your home insurance. Check to see if all your insurances are paid up and cover everything you think they cover you for.
- Ring up about a new phone deal. Don’t get mad at your phone bills – look for a better deal. Now with number portability in place there are great deals on offer so if you sport a cheaper deal take it.
- Get an update on your superannuation. With a great deal of activity happening in the superannuation industry it is a good idea to run your eye over your super statements. Make sure your current superannuation account includes the amounts from your previous jobs super policies.
- Re-check your goals. Things change and so do your needs and wants which therefore affect your goals. During your spring clean make it a special point to re-check your goals and if need be change them.
From Unlock the Secrets of your Money Personality by Greg Smith.
Unlock the Secrets of your Money Personality is a kick-up-the-bum for anyone who knows they should be sorting out their finances, but does know where to start. Through identifying your existing money habits and suggesting strategies for increasing savings through budgeting, investing and most importantly, learning about money, Unlock the Secrets of your Money Personality can transform you into a knowledgeable, money-savvy chick well on her way to financial independence and security.
- Regularly transfer money into a locked savings account.
- Distribute your money to your needs first, and your wants second.
- Plan and budget in advance when you want to make purchases.
- Pay credit card debt off after each purchase you make.
- Address money drains as soon as they become apparent ? e.g. unreliable car, huge mobile phone bills, excessive clothes
You may need a financial overhaul if you:
- Regularly spend more than $50 on drinks in one night.
- Find that you?re always counting down to payday.
- Make more than one or two impulse purchases a week.
- Make expensive purchases when you know you can?t afford them.
- Plan and budget in advance when you want to make purchases.
- Spend over $10 a day on lunches.
- Find you buy a lot of stuff you don?t use
- Rely on your credit card as a source of cash flow
- Shop till you drop every payday.
from Get On With It the sassy new book for independent single women by Sue Ostler (Allen & Unwin). Learn to love your own life, develop your career, take control of your finances and enjoy everything you want!
Buy a copy of this book from the SheSaid BookShop.