Here are some of our top tips for budgeting your money and preparing for a rainy day!
Gather all your financial information
Make sure before you start to plan your budget, that you gather all important financial information such as your monthly bills, loan repayments or insurance costs. This will make it easier to plan your budget and have an idea of your outgoings for each month.
Essential vs Non-essential
Categorise your outgoing spending into essential and non-essential, or needs and wants.
Needs could be things like your mortgage payments, electricity bills, grocery bills or anything else you need to keep your household going.
Wants could be things like eating out, going to the cinema or other entertainment costs. Think about how much you spend on wants and how you could cut them back. However, don’t cut them completely, this will make it a lot harder to stick to, and we all need to enjoy ourselves from time to time!
Remember to be realistic and plan a budget that you can easily stick to!
Write down your budget
Write down your budget and make a plan on either a weekly or monthly basis, whichever suits you. If you get paid monthly it would probably suit better to make a monthly budget so you can track your spending between pay days.
Take a look at our budget tracker HERE
Download it and fill it in to keep track of your monthly spending!
Trim your spending
Shop around and get the best deals and look at cost comparison websites and try to get the best price
Cut down on luxuries – Things like buying lunch every day or your morning coffee on the way to work can add up. By making your lunch 2 or 3 days a week, or making your coffee at home could save you €15 a week which is nearly €800 a year! A good idea is to cut back on a different luxury each month. That way, you won’t miss it for too long, but you’ll be consistently saving money.
If you have a credit card, try to only use it for essential needs and not for casual spending. This will make you consider whether you really need to make that purchase. We normally spend more for the item if we are paying by credit card as opposed to handing over our hard-earned cash!
What if I blow my budget?
Don’t panic! Examine where you went wrong and try again next month. Start by focusing on what you really need, and pay those expenses first.
It is inevitable that you will encounter unexpected expenses. At some time in all of our lives things and events will crop up that we just didn’t see coming. This is why it is important to factor in savings into your budget. It doesn’t have to be a huge amount if you can’t afford it.
You’d be surprised how quickly putting €5 or €10 aside each month can add up and then it is ready and waiting for when you need it! Remember a budget is all about seeing what you can and can’t afford, so be realistic and only save what you have left over after your other expenses have been paid off.