Make 2018 the year you master your money, and fulfil those resolutions to save better and spend less.
It is a good time to tackle your relationship with money at the beginning of a new year, when resolutions are fresh in your mind, and you are motivated to make some changes. Saving money can make a real difference to your everyday finances, but you may need to start some new practices to get your finances into shape. Think about some money saving tips that you know, as well as checking through our suggestions below, and see whether you can put them into action this year.
See what you are spending
Before you can work out where to make savings in your personal finances, you will need to know exactly what you are spending. Take note of all your outgoings in an Excel spreadsheet, or a suitable money app, and once you have worked out your monthly expenditure, you will begin to see the areas where savings may be made. With a little bit of careful planning and financial discipline you can then begin to make the kind of changes that will make a difference.
Decide on a budget
To manage your money properly, you will need to create a budget. It will help you to keep track of your monthly income and expenses, and is essential when it comes to saving money. Try the 80/20 rule, where 20% of your money goes towards savings and the remaining 80% is spent on everything else. Setting up an automatic monthly withdrawal from your current account into a savings account will help you stick to this simple budget, and start to give you greater control over your money.
Hunt for better deals
Take the time to assess your outgoings on payments and bills like insurance, credit cards and utilities, and see whether you can find some better deals. Most providers offer attractive deals to new customers, which often transfer to a standard, more expensive product when the deal ends. If your deals have long since expired, check out online comparison sites to make some easy savings. Remember to take note of when your new deals end, so that you can switch in good time to avoid any potential price hikes.
The smaller things can make a difference too, so try a few things to help reduce your shopping costs. Use vouchers, offers and cashback sites to reduce grocery bills, buy in bulk to save money, and compare online and in-store prices to ensure you get the best offers. Look out for sales in high street retailers when buying clothes and electrical goods, but be aware of marketing hype and remember that you do not have to buy anything unless you really need it.
Not too strict
A budget will help you to reduce unnecessary spending and plan for saving, but it should not remove all your little luxuries. It is hard work changing old habits, but do not be so tough on yourself that it makes it difficult to stick to your new budget. Be realistic about your goals, and take it one step at a time. Set yourself a series of manageable objectives, rather than trying to achieve your end goal too soon.
Monitor your progress
Keep track of your progress as the months go by, and you should begin to see some positive results for your efforts. To keep up the momentum, visit inspiring money websites for motivation and the latest money saving tips. Manage financial commitments closely to make sure you have the best deal for your current circumstances, and be ready to make adjustments if your situation changes.
Our selection of tips provided above could help you to make the most of your money in 2018. It is important to be honest about your spending, so that you can control your finances, and manage your money within an achievable budget. Approach it with a positive attitude and you will be well on the way to making some big savings, and changing your money habits for the better.