If you’re paid weekly, budgeting isn’t always easy – particularly if you have large bills, such as rent, that you have to pay monthly. So, have a look at our tips on making your money stretch.
Budget – it may sound obvious but the first place to start is by writing down a really thorough budget. You can use a paper and pen or a spreadsheet.
Start by writing down what money you’ve got coming in, then the bills you need to pay, essential living costs and other regular spends. Don’t forget to allow for occasional expenses – such as holidays, birthdays and Christmas. The next stage is to add up the monthly bills and then divide by four – this will be how much you need to put aside from your weekly pay to cover the monthly costs. Once you’re done, you’ll see exactly where your money is going, where you can make savings and how much you’re likely to save too.
Set up a separate bank account– this is probably one of the simplest things you can do to make sure that everything that needs to be paid, gets paid! When your wages are paid into your main bank account, have automatic transfers set up to your bill account so a little amount is taken out each week to cover the essential monthly bills. If you don’t, you may be landed with a bill you can’t afford at the end of the month. However, some people are just rubbish at personal budgeting and that’s totally fine! Why not have a look at a budgeting bank accounts, like ours, as they’ll do all the hard work for you.
Discipline yourself – we know, this is really tough when you really need that fabulous pair of boots in the Next sale. But before you indulge, stop and ask yourself this question – ‘do I really need these?’ And, if you’re deliberating about whether you should buy something or not, the old saying ‘if in doubt, do without!’ is a good rule to live by. You’ll be surprised how many things get put back on the shelf when you start using this logic.
Challenge yourself – we all love a challenge, don’t we? So, why not challenging yourself to spend as little as possible over the week, just to see how little you could survive on.
A great way to do this is to have a spending diary. Any book will do, you don’t need to buy anything special, or you could use a diary function your phone. Now you need to keep it with you and note down what you buy, when you buy it. This might seem like a faff, but if you wait until you get home, you’ll probably forget things. It’ll help you understand that you probably need a lot less money to survive on than you think – take note of any non-essential items you buy, like magazines or clothes whilst you’re in the supermarket. It’s a great way to motivate yourself to stick to a budget, for a short while at least. It’s particularly useful if you’re trying to save up for something too.