Tag: Save money

reduce-your-expenses

Reduce Your Expenses – Simple Guide!

Are you looking for ways to reduce expenses so you can spend less and save more?

If at the end of a day, week, or month you think where did all my money go then you need to start looking at your spending and see where you can cut expenses.

Living payday to payday is not fun!

You want to be able to have some money left over at the end of the month so that you can save it for more important things like an emergency fund, retirement or even a vacation.

Most of us don’t realise just how much money we’re wasting on a daily basis. Many unnecessary costs can actually be reduced or cut altogether.

 

 

Write down all your expenses

First of all, you want to know what your monthly expenses is to figure out exactly what your current monthly expenses are.

Many people don’t realize how much they’re spending. That’s because it’s easy to spend £1 here or £5 there and not think anything of it. We may not think we’re buying anything lavish, but at the end of the month we’re left wondering – where did all of my money go?

If you want to learn how to drastically cut expenses, the first step is to write down ALL your fixed and variable (discretionary) spending.

An easy way to figure this out is to look at your previous bank statements to see what you spent. Or you can simply track your spending for the next month.

Fixed expenses – These are expenses that you MUST pay each month, such as rent / mortgage, electricity, gas, water, savings plans, debt payments (credit card, car payments, student loan, personal loan) and so on.

Variable spending – These are non-essential expenses, such as dining out, vacations, entertainment, lunch with friends, gifts, clothes, manicures and pedicures, and so on.

If you’re currently having trouble paying your monthly bills, you’ll want to figure out the absolute minimum amount of money you need to cover your essential living costs.

This includes:

  • Food
  • Utilities
  • Shelter
  • Transportation

If you are currently working towards paying off debt, then you’ll want to include debt payments in your essential living costs too.

I know it’s not easy to cut your monthly expenses and it can be tempting to stop debt repayments. But try to make at least the minimum payments on your debt. Continuing to pay down debt can help reduce your monthly debt payments.

Once you’ve determined your monthly fixed and variable expenses, compare this with your household’s income. If you’re currently living without a source of income, see how much cash you have set aside in your savings account or emergency fund.

 

Determine your financial goals

Most people want to reduce their monthly expenses because they want to save and accomplish more with their money. Knowing your goals can help you align your budget around achieving them.

The best part is your goals can be anything you want. Perhaps you want to pay off credit card debt, save money to purchase a car, or build an emergency fund. The more specific you can get, the easier it will be to break down your goals into manageable steps.

Ask yourself – what do I want my finances to look like a year from now? But starting today, you’ll begin planting the seeds for a successful financial future.

Related post:

Want help setting goals? See my post for setting SMART financial goals:

 

 

Create a realistic monthly budget

Now that you’ve determined your essential living costs and figured out ways to reduce your non-essential spending, it’s time to create a new monthly budget.

For those who currently don’t have an income, you’ll need to see how much cash you have set aside to make sure it’s enough to cover your essential living costs.

Related posts:

Would you like to know more about creating a budget? Then see our post below:

 

Reduce your expenses

Now you have followed the above steps, here’s are 10 tips to help you curb your spending, cut your expenses and live on less than you make.

 

Negotiate your bills

Unfortunately, you can’t cut them completely but chances are you can lower them. Most people miss this one because they think bills are bills and there’s nothing you can do about them, but that is the farthest thing from the truth.

Start by calling around to make sure you have the best deal. 

reduce-your-expenses

You can also cut your heating bill by 3% for every degree you move your thermostat.

Many companies offer a discount if you sign up for autopay. Make sure to ask because sometimes they only apply the discount if you ask for it.

We also cut our internet bill in half by asking about their current promotions. This alone saved us £360 this year. Once you start adding up all savings you found on bills, you’ll find several hundred pounds/dollars in savings

 

Sky/Cable TV

When I was first learning how to live on a budget, Sky TV was one of the first expenses I cut.

The truth is, most of the time with Sky you’re paying for a bunch of channels you don’t watch. Streaming means you’re more likely to use what you pay for every month.

For example, we have:

Altogether, I pay about £25 for these channels compared to the £75 I used to pay for Sky. That’s a massive saving if £600 per year!

If you haven’t made the switch from Sky/cable to streaming yet, that’s 600 reasons to give it a shot.

 

Gym membership

I have been guilty of this, having a gym membership I never used.

The money would be coming out my bank account every month, while I’m trying to convince myself I would start to use it.

You need to get rid of it – ASAP

If you haven’t been using it regularly and consistently for months on end you are not going to do it now.

According to This Is Money, Brits waste a collective £25billion a month each year on subscriptions they don’t use or want, and a massive 12% of that is on gym memberships alone!

That’s a whole lot of money!

If you don’t use your gym membership, look at alternative ways of exercise instead. I have invested in resistant bands and an exercise bike. I prefer this way, and there are plenty of workout tutorials on YouTube to follow.

If your finances are tight, then this one has to go!

 

Stop paying credit card interest

If you’ve got credit card debt with an interest rate – ditch it right now. Get it switched to a 0% deal like yesterday! Credit card interest rates are extortionate if you don’t manage them right.

That being said, 0% credit card deals are great for slashing the costs of any debt you have if you use them properly.

Just make sure if you’re switching to pay it off – cut the new card up and set up a monthly payment to make sure you clear the balance by the end of the term.

I used this trick for years as a gradually cleared the debt I built up at Uni and didn’t have to pay a penny of interest on it as a result. If I couldn’t clear the debt by the end of the term, I switched to another deal to avoid paying interest.

Take a look at this page on Money Saving Expert to find the best current deals.

 

Shop with a plan

If you head to the grocery store with a plan in mind, your shopping trip will be more successful and less expensive.

Many people are unsure of what they have in their cabinets and fridge, let alone what to make for dinner. Make a list of meals to have for the week. Then, see what you need to complete those recipes in your kitchen and pantry.

It’s also a good idea to stock your pantry with essentials when sales are going on.

Supermarket ads can also be incredibly useful. You might have to store hop on a weekly basis, but shopping with the sales can save you a lot of money in the long term.

 

Branded food/drinks

People love brands names, but in my opinion, the majority of the time, you are paying just for the name!

I have ditched name products and shop at Aldi and sometimes Lidl majority of time. There are alternative items of food/drink, are just as good if not better in some cases.

The money you save week in week out is massive!

The Same goes with clothes, I use to buy brand and designer all the time. Not anymore, there are cheaper alternatives out there, such as Boohoo, Primark and ASOS where you can look smart for cheaper.

As long as I look good and feel comfortable in my clothes and shoes, that’s all that matters to me, not what branded name I’m wearing.

Related posts:

Want to know more about saving money with groceries? Then see my posts on cutting back grocery spending:

 

 

Resist impulse purchases

Have you ever walked into a shop to get something small, such as shampoo and you ended up leaving with a bunch of items that weren’t on your shopping list?

reduce-your-expenses

Don’t feel bad if you said yes. It’s called impulse spending and marketers are really good at encouraging consumers to make impulse purchases. This is an unplanned decision to buy a product (or service) right before the purchase is made.

Nearly 78.2% of Brits have succumbed to the temptation to impulse online shopping, according to a recent survey. While it might seem like an impulse buy here and there is harmless, it can sabotage your goals such as paying off debt, building your emergency fund, or saving for a large purchase.

Related post:

Want to know more information on how to complete a no spend month and save a huge chunk of money? See the below post:

 

 

Mobile phone

We have all been caught out on this one. Mobile phone companies offer free phones to entice you into a two-year contract that you are then bound to. Emails flooding your inbox trying to persuade you to upgrade to the latest smartphone can be oh so tempting, but before you succumb, as yourself the following questions.

Do I really need a new phone? (Need, not want!)

What will it really cost me over the course of two years?

Do I really need 100GB of data a month?

Would a prepaid mobile phone be the better financial option?

You’ll know from your answers, what you should really do. It’s all about being sensible and not living above your means for the sake of having the latest smartphone.

 

Eat at home as much as possible

Eating out is a nice treat for every now and again, but when you get into the habit of dining out because you can’t be bother to cook, it becomes and expense game.

After a long day a work, when you’re tired, it’s just the easier option. I’ve done it before, we’ve all done it at one point of time. The thought of cooking after a stressful day is a chore, but there are ways around this.

reduce-your-expenses

Batch cooking food is a great way to give yourself a break from the kitchen. For example, you could cook a batch of meals at the weekend and then freeze them. Each day you will then have a meal prepared without having to cook from scratch.

I do this with my workout meals for the week, it saves me a lot of time.

For a family of four, just by eating out a few times a month, you are talking about a few hundred pounds/dollars per month, if not more.

Top tip:

Supercooks is a website that helps you re-create recipes from leftovers.

Just list out the ingredients and let SuperCooks tell you what to cook! Never again will you have to stare at those leftovers in the fridge and wonder what to do with it.

 

 

Stop using disposable items

Some of the products you use from day to day are only used once, then thrown away. Paper towels, for example, are handy when you want to clean up a mess in a hurry, but reaching for one after every spill can become an expensive habit.

I don’t know about you but when there is a roll of paper towels in my house, I go through it like crazy, I wash my hands A LOT (a habit from working in the hospital years ago) and if I had to dry on a paper towel at home daily, I would be buying tons of paper towels.

Instead of paper towels or napkins, use hand towels. Using them will create a bit of extra dirty laundry, but will also cut out the cost of these disposable ones altogether.

You can also eliminate other items like dryer sheets by switching to wool dryer balls and sandwich bags by switching to reusable sandwich bags.

 

Bottled water

Bottled water is expensive! Spending £4-£5 on water every week when you could be using tap water/filtered water, will lead to savings that could be used towards something else.

Buy this reusable bottle and use it at work too.

It is mind boggling how expensive bottled water can get. If you have a fridge that has filtered water then even better, if not, tap water is great too!

If you are family of four getting through a 24 pack of water in less than a week is probably the norm. You could be saving £10 a week on just water.

 

 

Reduce your expenses – Final thought

Whilst these items individually may not seem like they can make big changes to your monthly budget, making small changes can, in fact, help you to save a few hundred extra dollars each month.

Those extra pounds/dollars can really help you make a dent in your debts.

Don’t be discouraged by having to cut back on expenses.

It’s better to look at your long-term goals and use that as your motivation to keep pushing forward to your financial freedom.

One thing I have realised is that you should never turn your nose up at small savings because eventually, they do add up to make a considerable difference.

Let me know what tips you have for cutting down on expenses!

If you found this post useful, you might want to save THIS PIN below to your Pinterest Save Money board for for later!

reduce-your-expenses

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 



smart-grocery-tips

Smart grocery shopping tips – Simple Guide!

Today I will be talking about smart grocery shopping tips.

Whether you’re budgeting newbie or pro, one of the hardest categories to budget is food. Unlike other fixed expenses (like Sky or cable), you can’t easily compare prices to see if you are spending too much.

Yet it’s a category that obviously can’t be overlooked. Here’s a compilation of hacks and tricks to help reduce your grocery bill and making grocery shopping on a budget easy.

 

 

Why would you want to save money on groceries?

For most people, food is the second largest expense every month. You have to have it to live. But you don’t have to spend a fortune on it.

Most people think that you have to buy cheap, processed foods to save money on groceries. But it is quite the opposite. Fresh (even frozen) foods and foods in bulk can save you quite a chunk of change.

The more money you save on groceries (and eating out), the more money you will have to save for other things. Like that big project around the house that’s been waiting to be finished, or a nice family vacation, or you can stash that cash in an investment account and earn money.

Read on for ways to help your wallet and save money on groceries.

 

Smart grocery shopping tips

These 15 tips for saving money on groceries are subtle and simple changes you can make, which can really add up to big savings over the course of a month.

By implementing these it’s likely that you’ll hardly feel the pinch at all!

 

Make a grocery list and stick to it

Creating a grocery list is going to be a crucial step in you saving money on food each month. There is nothing worse for your budget than when you walk into a grocery store without a list.

Without the guidance of a grocery list, you might remember everything you needed but, I bet you come out with a bunch of stuff you don’t need.

When you create a list, you can see what you need and avoid the things you don’t. Next time you go grocery shopping, make a list and stick to it. I think you’ll be surprised at how big of a difference it will make.

 

Don’t go shopping when you’re hungry

I’m guilty of doing this from time to time, and my budget suffers every time I do. It turns out that when you go to the grocery store hungry, everything looks delicious.

You end up buying things you don’t need because your brain tells you it looks good.

smart-grocery-tips

Make sure you eat a snack before you go grocery shopping. Your stomach and your budget will thank you after.

If you absolutely have to go shopping while you’re hungry, make sure you have a grocery list and stick to it!

 

Shop during the sales

One of the best ways to save money on groceries is to shop for grocery items when they are on sale. Buying toiletries during grocery store sales can save you a huge chunk of money.

These items are generally overused at home and can be expensive. Besides, kitchen items like cooking oil, spices, cereals and other things that can be used over a few weeks should be bought on store sales to save you some extra amount.

Always make it a point to prepare a list of grocery items you need before you step out for shopping and use an expense tracker to keep a track of your grocery spending.

 

 

Buy in bulk

One budget grocery shopping trick to consider is buying certain items in bulk.

Analyse a few of your recent meal plans. Do you see a few recurring meals that appear often in your meal plan?

Consider purchasing some of the non-perishable items for these meals in bulk. In this way, you can end up saving hundreds of pounds/dollars on your groceries!

Some common items that can be bought in bulk include rice, canned foods such as sardines, vegetables, tuna, etc.

Buying in bulk is perfect because the unit price of each item is way less (sometimes less than half of the usual price!) than if you purchase one or two cans per week.

 

Also, bulk buy your meat

Personally, I tend to buy meat when I see it reduced in the supermarket but I know others aren’t always able to get there in the evenings when there are bargains to be had.

One of the best ways to stock up on meat for less is using a company like Muscle Foods. Muscle Foods  started out being aimed at those on high protein diet – but the prices are so good that many families have started ordering from them too.

It’s always worth comparing with supermarket prices to make sure you really are getting the best deal, but generally speaking, they have some fantastic deals. Just make sure there’s plenty of room in your freezer!

 

Use leftover to prepare next meal

Using leftover food can easily save you a lot of time and money. Food that doesn’t make enough servings can easily be reused for your next meal instead of getting wasted.

smart-grocery-tips

I sometimes make some extra rice just so I can use it as leftover for my next meal. You can also create new meals out of leftover chicken, bread and boiled rice.

You’ll be surprised to know that leftovers can sometimes provide for an entire meal of yours, if done effectively.

Top tip:

Supercooks is a website that helps you re-create recipes from leftovers.

Just list out the ingredients and let SuperCooks tell you what to cook! Never again will you have to stare at those leftovers in the fridge and wonder what to do with it.

 

 

Pay with cash

Avoid carrying your credit cards to the store and pay only with cash. This is what a lot of people call the cash envelope method. This method includes setting money aside in an envelope every month for different spending such as food, gas, clothes, etc. So, you will pay your expenses with the cash that is inside the envelope.

By only spending what is in the envelope for that particular expense such as groceries then, you will stick to your budget and it will force you to save money immediately.

Believe it or not this method works and it would save you a good amount of money. This is because you don’t have another except paying with cash rather than credit cards.

Related post:

Want to find out more about the cash envelope system? Then see our post below:

 

 

Cashback sites

Cashback sites are way of earning money while you spend money on shopping.

Some good sites are Topcashback, Quidco and Boom25.

The cashback site will earn a percentage for referring you to the retailer through their website, and you take a cut of the profits.

It’s an easy way to earn some extra money while making a purchase you were planning to make anyway.

Here’s my posts with all the details of exactly how Quidco, Topcashback and BOOM25 work.

 

Buy seasonal produce

Seasonal produce is cheaper than produce that is out of season period. This is because most of the time seasonal produce is grown locally and they are in abundance.

smart-grocery-tips

Besides, the cost of shipping for seasonal produce is not as much as the produce that is out of season. So, when you see a sale on seasonal produce buy it and use it in your meals.

If you still have some produce that is not being used you can always preserve, freeze, and use it for later in other meals. This would be a great advantage and serious savings on your grocery bill.

 

Try generic brands

Usually, generic brands are cheaper compared to products with a well-known name. You can save money on your groceries by just buying the store generic brand.

Sometimes, you will find generic brands 20% to 30 % cheaper compared to name-brand products. For instance, Costco sells their signature store brand products for around 20% less than other brands.

Try to check out the product’s label and you will notice that most of the time the ingredients are the same and even better with less amount of chemicals! I’ve been using Aldi’s own products for a while, and they’re amazing and very cheap too!

 

Plastic grocery bags

Instead of wasting money when we go grocery shopping, we decided to purchase reusable shopping bags that we now bring with us when we go shopping.

These reusable shopping bags aren’t only good for saving money at the grocery store, they’re also great to just have at home.

If you’re going away, you can use them to pack clothes, toiletries, games, and snacks in as well. The reusable shopping bags I use have many more purposes than simply being used at the grocery store, so you can bet they have more than paid for themselves many times over.

 

Use vouchers and deals

Honey is a great website for finding vouchers from thousands of retailers online.

I have saved money when making purchases on clothes through Honey on several occasions.

Also, Latest Deals is great website for bargains and deals.

While saving money you also earn points though the above sites, which can them be redeemed into a giftcard of your choice.

These sites are no brainer!

 

 

Stick to real processed food

Avoid the meals with pre-packaged pasta, sauce and spices just add a pound of meat. It really doesn’t take any longer to open a bag of pasta, a can of tomatoes or spaghetti sauce, chop an onion and some garlic while the meat is browning.

You save money and the environment by avoiding all that packaging. Stick as much as possible to things your great-grandmother would recognize and if you read the ingredients and it sounds like a chemical it probably is.

Pass on the chemicals and get something closer to real food saving money and eating healthier.

 

Get to know the markdown schedule

Take some time to talk to the employees! They will let you know when meat will be marked down.

You can get a heads up for the best time to raid the clearance rack for produce! I know that at my local store Wednesdays at 5pm is when they mark down meat.

 

Reduce your number of shopping trips.

One of the best things you can do to save money on groceries is to shop less oftenThe less often you’re in the store, the less often you’re tempted to buy more than you intended.

And the best way to do that is to start planning your meals and to shop for what you can online (more on that below).

 

 

Smart grocery shopping tips – Final thought

Budgeting your food and grocery expenses doesn’t have to be really hard and complicated as long as you know what options are available to you. You can keep your expenses to a minimum & keep more money when you try the options mentioned above.

Let me know what you think. What options have you already tried or willing to try? Which of these do you think will help you keep more?

If you found this post useful, you might want to save THIS PIN below to your Pinterest Save Money board for later!

smart-grocery-tips



how-budget-on-low-income

How to budget on low income – Simple Guide!

How to budget money on low income? Money certainly does not grow on trees and that means we all need to be a little clever with the cash we have, to try and make it go that little bit further.

In addition to this rather annoying lack of a money tree situation, it’s also a truth that most of us aren’t earning as much as we want to, or as much as we believe we deserve.

For most of my young adult life I was living with little money due to me drowning in debt! This was because of my lifestyle at the time, I was living the highlife and spending money like it didn’t exist.

Over time I learned how to budget myself and adapt to my situation. I have paid a big chunk of debt off and now I’m in a much better place financially.

Living on a small budget is possible and many people do it. With prices of literally everything on the rise and minimum wage not keeping up, more people are looking to find ways to live with less money.

Today I will be talking you through 10 tips on how to budget on low income.

 

 

How to budget on low income

Honesty is the best policy

It’s no-good setting a budget and not being honest. That would be a complete waste of time!

Sure, it might be painful to sit down and write how much money you have coming in, how much money you have going out, and then trying to divide up the bit that’s left, but it’s a necessary evil if you want the whole process to work for you.

Nobody else has to see your budget, so make sure that you’re honest with yourself.

Many people also find the process of writing these figures down to be quite cathartic and it often proves to be a wake-up call – it might be a rather shocking wakeup call – but it works nonetheless!

 

Set Up a Budget

Secondly, you need to think about setting up a budget.

Making a budget is fairly simple. It’s following it that becomes difficult.

For example, you would first write down your income for a month at the top. Next list every single expense that needs to be paid monthly. So that includes, rent or mortgage, electricity, water, and even groceries, car payment, and car insurance.

The list goes on. Everyone has different expenses so be sure to list yours and the expected amount of that expense.

Next, you simply subtract all of your expenses from your monthly income and you will have your final amount. By writing everything down on paper you get a very good visual of where all of your money is going and if you need to make any changes to your expenses.

Related posts:

Would you like to know more about creating a budget? Then see our post below:

 

 

Track your expenses

No, I don’t mean keep a mental log in your head (although I’m totally guilty of doing that sometimes). I mean actually tracking your expenses – this is an absolute must when you’re trying to save on a low income.

You need to know where your money is going before you can actually start saving.

If you’ve never done this before, this advice applies to you. Track your expenses for one month, starting today.

how-budget-on-low-income

Tracking your spending for even just a month will give you a far clearer picture of where your money is going and what you need to work on in your budgeting plan.

I’ve listed a few awesome Money Trackers below for both UK and US readers:

These are all completely free to sign up to, so take advantage of the software and have a go at tracking your spending and finances for the month.

Related posts:

Would you like to cut back your expenses, to save money? but don’t know where to start? Then see the post below:

 

 

Analyse your spending

First, learn how much you spend each month, and then use that data. Identify where you probably spend more money than you should and work to reduce the spending in that area.

Small changes, one after the other, is what really starts a frugal habit.

Analysing my spending is what makes living on a low income while travelling possible for me. We know how much we earn, how much we spend each month and what our limit is.

Sure, our spending isn’t always perfect and things don’t always go to plan – but arming yourself with some knowledge about your spending is the best first step.

Always, always shop with intention. This is where the list and weekly meal plan comes in. I’ve realised that going grocery shopping without really knowing what we’ll be cooking for the rest of the week, just leads to me over buying.

how-budget-on-low-income

We pretty much always end up wasting food, which means, we’re wasting money.

Now, before we go grocery shopping, we always make sure to create a weekly meal plan, make a list of what we need and always stick to it. That’s the most important part – sticking with the list!

If you want to start cutting your spending and save more money, you always have to look at what you’re buying. Be aware of where your money is going and make smart choices.

Saving money and living with one income is not easy but it’s also not impossible. I’ve learned that with just a few tweaks and changes in our spending habit, we can even end up saving more money than we anticipated.

 

Set financial goals

Not only do you need to know why you want to start budgeting in the first place, but it’s also very important to think in terms of specific numbers.

How much debt are you hoping to pay off each month? How much money do you want to put aside in your emergency fund? How much will you be saving to go toward your retirement?

You cannot budget with the vague idea that you want to “save up some money”. Focus on numbers and focus on facts.

Related post:

Want help setting goals? See my post for setting SMART financial goals:

 

 

Eat at home as much as possible

Eating out is a nice treat for every now and again, but when you get into the habit of dining out because you can’t be bother to cook, it becomes and expense game.

After a long day a work, when you’re tired, it’s just the easier option. I’ve done it before, we’ve all done it at one point of time. The thought of cooking after a stressful day is a chore, but there are ways around this.

Batch cooking food is a great way to give yourself a break from the kitchen. For example, you could cook a batch of meals at the weekend and then freeze them. Each day you will then have a meal prepared without having to cook from scratch.

I do this with my workout meals for the week, it saves me a lot of time.

For a family of four, just by eating out a few times a month, you are talking about a few hundred pounds/dollars per month, if not more.

Top tip:

Supercooks is a website that helps you re-create recipes from leftovers.

Just list out the ingredients and let SuperCooks tell you what to cook! Never again will you have to stare at those leftovers in the fridge and wonder what to do with it.

 

 

Resist impulse purchases

Have you ever walked into a shop to get something small, such as shampoo and you ended up leaving with a bunch of items that weren’t on your shopping list?

Don’t feel bad if you said yes. It’s called impulse spending and marketers are really good at encouraging consumers to make impulse purchases. This is an unplanned decision to buy a product (or service) right before the purchase is made.

Nearly 78.2% of Brits have succumbed to the temptation to impulse online shopping, according to a recent survey. While it might seem like an impulse buy here and there is harmless, it can sabotage your goals such as paying off debt, building your emergency fund, or saving for a large purchase.

 

Use vouchers/coupons

Take advantage of coupons/vouchers to save money.

Honey is a great website for finding vouchers from thousands of retailers online. I have saved money when making purchases on clothes through Honey on several occasions.

Also, Latest Deals is great website for bargains and deals.

While saving money you also earn points though the above sites, which can them be redeemed into a giftcard of your choice.

These sites are no brainer!

Want to find out more about these two sites? here is my posts for Honey and Latest Deals.

 

 

Cancel unnecessary subscriptions

Have you ever fell into the trap of starting a trial and then you forgot to cancel your subscription at the end of the week or month? Me too! Companies prey on those who are forgetful! Don’t get me wrong, if I love their service and it’s something I need, I will absolutely pay!

Sometimes, unnecessary subscriptions can be magazines, tv show/movie services, shopping and delivery services or educational programs. Analyse and decide if you really need each.

For example, I have decided that I no longer need to pay a membership fee to get certain products in two days.

I’ve also decided that my subscription for Shutter was not necessary as I wasn’t watching it anymore! Therefore, I cancelled them both. Simple living to save money!

 

 

Use cashback shopping sites

I use cashback shopping sites such as TopCashback or Quidco for my online purchases. Cashback sites are a way for you to save money every time you shop online at one of its partner retailers using a link from the cashback website.

A percentage of the purchase is returned to you as a cash back rebate when you complete your purchase. Cashback shopping sites offer cash back at thousands of stores and they are free to use.

cashback

I use both TopCashback and Quidco to shop online and like them both. I usually check to see which of the cashback sites will give me more money back on my purchase and then shop through that cashback site for my specific purchase.

Rakuten is a great cash back site for those over in the US. In addition, you’ll find thousands of coupons and promo codes from Rakuten. Every quarter Rakuten mails you a cheque or PayPal payment with the cash back you received from shopping online through them.

 

How to budget on low income – Final thought

So that’s it! These are the actions I recommend to live on low. By putting this into practice, you will definitely start to see the pounds/dollars adding up at the end of the month. And who doesn’t like extra money in their pocket?

What about you? Are you trying to achieve financial freedom? Are you working towards becoming debt free? Is there anything else you’d add to this list? Share with us in the comments below. I’d love to hear from you!

If you found this post useful, you might want to save THIS PIN below to your Pinterest Finance board for later!

how-budget-on-low-income



12-extreme-frugal-tips

12 Extreme Frugality Tips – Simple Guide!

Today I will discussing extreme frugality and everything about the practice.

When your finances are in a deep decline, going all out for extreme frugality can help you stay on budget.

You can find plenty of advice about how to be frugal and how to save money. But advice on extreme frugality with the emphasis on extremely cheap living can be harder to find.

Sometimes saving money like other people do is just not enough.

If you’ve tried all the mainstream frugal tips but your finances are still not going in the right direction then perhaps it’s time to look at what extremely frugal people do.

Maybe you’ve just lost your job or maybe you’ve had your light-bulb moment and are determined to learn how to pay off debt fast as possible.

There are ways to ramp up your money saving attempts if you are prepared to go where others fear to tread.

 

 

What is extreme frugality?

Extreme frugality is exactly what it sounds like. Instead of sticking to the usual money-saving tips like everyone else, extremely frugal people find ways to save money that most people would never even consider.

In fact, even if you think you live an extremely frugal life, you’re probably not taking it anywhere near as far as some of the extreme frugal living tips below go.

So, the question becomes:

Why would anyone live such an extremely frugal life anyway? Well, I think there are two main reasons:

  1. They like to be resourceful
  2. They need to in order to survive

If you’re person #1 and you learned how to live super frugally just because you love being resourceful, keep doing you! As long as you’re happy, who cares what anyone else thinks.

However, if you’re person #3 and you’ve learned how to be extremely frugal just to get by (but you’re completely miserable), keep on reading until the end of the post. I’ll talk about how you can escape the extreme frugality life for good.

But first, let’s get into some of these tips to see what extreme frugal living is really about.

Warning though, some of these are crazy!

 

12 Extreme Frugality Tips

Live in your car

This is another one that is pretty common and not too extreme. It also has the potential to save you the most money as you won’t have to pay rent! Just shower at the local gym and you’re good to go.

12-extreme-frugal-tips

If you want to really embrace car living, join the RV Life movement and live in a small RV or van. It’ll be a lot better than living in a coupe. There’s actually a skateboarder I follow on Instagram that lives in a refurbished ambulance which I think is pretty cool.

You could also potentially turn this into a side gig (if you wanted to) by starting a blog. People love reading about RV extreme frugal living. I’ve seen some RV bloggers making over $100,000/month (not a typo).

 

Raise your own farm animals

We all know hunting is a good way to supply meat in the freezer for months. You can buy a young calf and have a farmer raise it, and you can triple your investment and eat good, quality grass-fed beef for months off of that single purchase.

Likewise, I know someone who has a chicken farm and raise hens for eggs!

You’ll definitely need a deep freeze for storage, and Amazon Prime has several options to choose from with free shipping (especially handy if you don’t have access to a van)!

 

Eat out of date food

In day’s gone past the money mantra was waste not, want not.

If food has a small amount of mould on it, does it mean all of that food is now inedible and off?

12-extreme-frugal-tips

If you want to reach the heights of extreme frugality then using mouldy food can definitely help you save money.

I account my cast iron stomach (no food poisoning for me) with having been given food that had the mould cut off when I was a child.

My Mother’s response to our disgust at this practice was to point out the premium people pay for blue cheeses like Stilton – mouldy cheese!

 

Dumpster living

This one is actually quite popular.

Basically, people will go to grocery stores to find tossed out food and they’ll take it home for themselves. I’ve seen people get some pretty good hauls doing this too:

Honestly, it’s mind-blowing how much fresh food gets thrown out every day. I’ve seen it myself too, I have friends that work in grocery stores, and they have told me they’re constantly told to throw out perfectly fine food just because it was past its date.

Oh, and it’s not just food either. I’ve also seen people have some pretty good finds dumpster diving at electronics stores! My girlfriend told me people do it at makeup stores too.

 

Shower less often

Filling the tub is a no-no when you’re practicing extreme frugality. You’ve got to take showers only and limit to once every few days (at most). Been to the gym? Apologise to your significant other for me!

Do you stink? No problem! Take a sponge bath!

Yes, I’m cringing as I’m writing this, but there are people who practice this method of frugality. I will admit I take 2 showers a day, this sounds like an absolute nightmare to me!

 

Road kill

Another example of extreme frugality food is to eat the road kill you may come across on your travels.

In the UK it is widely accepted that if you accidentally run over an animal you cannot pick it up as road kill. However, the person behind you can.

I have no idea whether this is an urban myth or buried in some law. But what I do know is there are people who supplement their protein intake with road kill.

Not my thing, but there are people out there that do!

 

Flush less

This is a pretty common one. There’s an old saying that goes something like, if it’s yellow, let it mellow. If it’s brown, flush it down. That’s the soft version.

The real hardcore people treat their toilet like an outhouse and at most flush once a day. Doesn’t matter if it’s brown, yellow, chunky or soft.

Errrgggggh.

 

Take cold showers

For me, this one isn’t actually that extreme. I actually take cold showers just for the benefits but it’s also a good way to save money as you won’t have to heat any water.

12-extreme-frugal-tips

After doing it for a while, you actually get used to the cold pretty fast. It will surely wake you up in the morning too, so maybe you’ll save some money on coffee as well.

You could also just shower less to save money, that would be pretty extreme.

 

Stop shaving!

Beards are very much in fashion these days so no shaving for men is not difficult to achieve.

Nor is it extreme. You won’t seem different from many others around you, indeed you’ll blend right in.

But how about no shaving, waxing or hair removal for women? Are you willing to be more extreme with your personal care in order save money?

 

Don’t wash off you makeup

Another way to save money for women (or men if you’re into that kind of thing!) is to not wash makeup off your face.

Sound crazy?

Makeup is expensive and wearing it every day will make your supply go down super-fast.

Instead of washing your makeup off your face at the end of the day, just skip it, so you can stretch your makeup wear a bit further.

This one sounds pretty crazy but it’s a way to keep your makeup longer and people really do this!

 

Live in a Storage Unit

Similar to living in a car, living in a storage unit is another extremely frugal way to save money on rent.

I saw a video from a guy who did this and he actually had a pretty decent setup in his locker. He had running water, electricity, a bed, a TV, and more.

The only problem is that living in a storage unit is illegal, and the guy in the video ended up getting kicked out after 2 months!

 

Collect and reuse grey water

There are plenty of typically normal ways to save money on your water bill.

But how about reusing your bath water to flush your loo?

Or using water from your washing machine to water your plants?

When you are going all out to learn how to be as frugal as possible, reusing your grey water makes financial sense.

 

 

12 extreme frugality tips – Final thought

Even if you could follow some of the extreme saving tips above, how long could it really last? Some of them are just so extreme that I don’t know how you couldn’t get burnt out eventually.

By adopting these extreme frugal living tips, you can hang with the cheapest of the cheap. But at what cost? There are many other ways to live frugally without sacrificing your quality of life.

I can see why some people resort to the extreme frugality tips above. It’s resourceful, it can help the environment, and the savings are there. If you’re doing any of the things above because you actually want to and they work for you, then I see no problem with that. You do you.

Now I want to hear from you and your opinions on extreme frugal living

If you found this post useful, you might want to save THIS PIN below to your Pinterest Frugal Living board for later!

12-extreme-frugal-tips

 

 

 

 

 



habits-of-debt-free-people

14 Habits of Debt Free People – Simple Guide!

Today I will be discussing 14 habits of debt free people and how they can adopt

Have you ever considered being debt free to be a habit? It’s probably not something we would consider often. We think of habits as things like eating healthy and exercising, something that is a regular practice. But being debt free definitely falls into this category.

You see, spending money is a habit, accumulating debt is a habit and therefore breaking this habit requires the creation of another habit – one that is the habit of being debt free.

t is a conscious choice, an effort and a decision that is made, to be debt free, and there are habits that those who are debt free have. Things that help them remain within their free of debt status, and it’s not as simple as creating a budget.

If you’re on the path to becoming debt free, then it’s a good idea to start creating some of these habits for yourself. Don’t stress about trying to add them all in at once – that’s the thing with habits, they take time to create (and that’s okay).

Perhaps you already do some of these things? Or maybe you’re looking for new habits to add in.

Either way, here are 14 habits of debt free people that you can adopt into your life too.

 

 

14 Habits of Debt Free People 

They stick to a budget

Budgeting. Such a dirty word for so many people, but it doesn’t have to be. Having a budget is the best way to make sure you never end up in debt again.

When you have a detailed budget, you know exactly where your money goes and when it needs to go there! This means that there are no surprises and a much smaller chance that you’ll have to use an emergency credit card.

People who are debt free love a good budget because chances are that is exactly how they got out of debt in the first place!

Related post:

Would you like to know how to create a budget, but don’t know where to start? Then see the post below:

 

 

They save save save

This might sound strange but it’s so important to save. If you truly want debt-free living then saving must become normal to you.

For the longest time, we didn’t save any money, partly because we felt that we weren’t in a financial position to be able to do so but also because we just weren’t used to it.

Saving actually felt like a punishment.

In order to save money, you have to have a positive attitude towards it.

habits-of-debt-free-people

You must habitually, purposefully do it otherwise you won’t do it at all. Believe me, I’ve been there.

In the past, the only time I have successfully managed to save was when there was something that I really wanted and my goal was to reach it.

Like the time we needed a bigger house or the time we needed a second car.

Set yourself saving goals, long term ones as well as short term goals. This will make it so much easier for you to save up your money.

 

 

They track their spending

Debt-free people always track their spending and are always aware of their money routes. If you will not track your spending, your budgeting will not be as efficient as it should be. Before budgeting for your next month, when you track your last month’s spending, it becomes easy to create a budget and make any changes you need for your next month.

You might agree with me that every purchase we make seems to be very important to us. We are living in a materialistic culture, where much of the attention is given to owning things, even if we don’t need it. I think you will agree with me on this one that If you want to be debt-free, you have to track your spending and figure out the unnecessary purchases.

It will be easy to figure out your budget when you know, exactly where your money is coming and where it is going. There are a lot of apps to track your expenses but you can do it old school way also. Take your pen and paper, and start writing down your expenses. This is the best habit you can develop to stay debt-free.

Related post:

Would you like advice on cutting down your monthly expenses, but don’t know where to start? Then see the post below:

 

 

They live below your means

Living below your means basically means that you spend less than what you earn. It may sound obvious and simple, but the reality is that many people spend all of their income each month.

It is easily done, especially if you do not have a budget in place or do not look at your bank statements.

habits-of-debt-free-people

If you look at many successful people, you can see that they live below their means. What this means is that they do not spend all of their pay-cheque each month – they save a lot of it instead.

If you want to get out of debt and stay out of debt, living below your means will be the key to doing so. You aren’t going to get anywhere fast if you waste all of your money each month!

 

 

They have a financial goals

Having financial goals is great because it keeps you motivated to work towards something you actually want to achieve.

Financial goals are very subjective and not one size fits all. One person’s financial goal might be to become a millionaire by 50, and another person’s goal might be to get out of debt by 30. It all depends on you and your specific circumstances.

Once you know what your goals are related to your finances, you can start coming up with a plan.

If you are someone who has a lot of debt and wants to pay it off before you turn 30, look at how much you owe. Then, calculate how much you would have to pay every month until you reach 30 to pay it all off.

Sometimes, you may find that you can’t reach those goals in the exact time-frame you set out for yourself. And that’s ok. In that case, set smaller goals which will ultimately get you to your bigger goals and to where you want to be with your finances.

Related post:

Would you like to know how to set SMART financial goals, but don’t know where to start? Then see the post below:

 

 

They have an emergency fund

Take some of the stress out of life by building up a solid emergency fund for rainy days.

It’s not a case of if you’ll need that money someday, it’s when.

Boilers break, cars need repairing, jobs don’t work out and unexpected bills can land on your doorstep at any moment. If you’re not financially prepared for these situations, then you can end up resorting to credit cards or loans to help you out. That’s how you end up in serious debt, and it makes an already stressful situation much, much worse.

Work on building up a rainy-day fund that’s enough to cover 3-6 months (or more if you can!) worth of bills and living expenses should you not be able to work for any reason.

Related post:

Would you like to know how to create a emergency fund, but don’t know where to start? Then see the post below:

 

 

They pay their bills on time

I cannot stress the importance of making sure you pay your bills on time. I know there are situations that occur that are sometimes out of our control but being financially savvy and creating good money habits is about avoiding debt and financial trouble.

There are legitimate reasons why you may not be able to pay your bills on time but there are also reasons that just boil down to not making the correct money decisions.

Your bills should come before anything else. That’s why I always recommend paying your bills as soon as you’ve been paid. That way all the important stuff is out of the way and you don’t have to worry about keeping your money back to pay off your bills.

Aligning all your bill payment dates is another really handy tip to ensure that your bills are all getting paid on time. Make sure all your bills have the same payment date or are very close together rather than being spread out across the month.

 

They know the difference between want and need

Another important habit to have is the ability to know the difference between a want and a need. Making a poor purchase on a want will give you temporary satisfaction, while buying something that you need will be enjoyed long after and won’t be a straining burden on your finances.

When you’re weighing a purchase, you need to take a look at whether it will add more value to your life, or if it will be a setback in your long-term goals.

That’s not to say that you should never buy something that brings pleasure, but you should always consider what value it adds to your life.

Related post:

Would you like to know how to complete a no spend month to save money? Then see the post below:

 

 

Put side hustle money to one side

With our living expenses right down, we were living just under half of the money that we made from our main jobs.  This meant that the difference and any side hustle income was for saving/investing.

I made the decision that any side hustle money was to be put in a separate pot.  I’m not what motivated me to do this in the first place but it worked wonders.

habits-of-debt-free-people

Seeing my side hustle income grow independently made me realise how hard I have been working to achieve it.  It also inspired me to make more.

When the figure didn’t grow much over one month, it would give me a kick up the bottom to find more ways of producing income.

Related posts:

Interested in earning some extra cash through a side hustle? Then see the posts below:

 

 

They have a positive money mindset

A money mindset is the attitude you have towards your financial situation.

If you have a negative mindset and continuously think this is the best you can do and it won’t get any better, then that’s where you’re going to be stuck.

If you always focus on what’s wrong, it’ll be impossible to stay motivated. By changing to a positive money mindset, you’ll start making better choices about your finances.

People who are never broke know that money always comes back to them. Just keep thinking to yourself or saying there’s more where that came from.

Related post:

Would like to learn more about how implementing a money mindset can help you achieve financial freedom and live a happier life? Then the post below:

 

 

They surround themselves with like-minded people

Motivational speaker Jim Rohn once said, “You are the average of the five people you spend most of your time with”. We are greatly influenced by relationships and those who are closest to us. These relationships can impact our life in general and our financial life too.

We all have to make tough decisions at some point, especially if you are trying to get out and stay out of debt. That’s why it’s so important to surround yourself with positive and supportive people who will cheer you on as you make progress towards achieving your financial goals.

 

They value experience over things

One of the habits of debt free people is that they don’t focus on material things. They understand that stuff can never be a replacement for meaningful relationships with their family and friends.

People who are determined to get out of debt know that experiences make them happier than things, so they stay focused on reaching their goals.

 

They pay attention to detail

Debt-free people know that tracking their spending is the first step in getting control of their finances. This allows them to see if there are any money leaks in their spending so they can eliminate unnecessary expenses.

They also notice if an incorrect charge appears on their bill and are less likely to miss a payment due date.

 

They do their homework

One of the habits of debt free people is that they understand the importance of doing their research. They understand the basic concepts of personal finance so they can gain control of their money and make informed decisions. They don’t let others make important decisions for them.

They think long-term when making any big purchase and they are not afraid to be pro-active or negotiate to get a better deal. They actively seek out opportunities to save money and increase their income on an ongoing basis.

 

14 habits of debt free people – Final thought

If you want to become debt free (and stay debt free), then adopt these 14 habits of debt free people. The best part? You don’t have to wait until you are debt free to do these things.

Start following these 14 habits of debt free people and they will become YOUR habits as well!

What habits do you need to work on to help you become debt free?  And which ones are you already rocking?  Comment below because I’d love to know!

If you found this post useful, you might want to save THIS PIN below to your Pinterest Finance board for later!

habits-of-debt-free-people



what-is-the-debt-snowball

What is the debt snowball method? Simple Guide!

Today I will be discussing what is the debt snowball method?

If you’ve ever been into personal finance you’ve probably heard of Dave Ramsey. If you haven’t, Dave Ramsey is a financial guru with his own radio show and the best-selling-book called The Total Money MakeoverI’ve been an on again, off again, listener of Dave Ramsey’s and I totally agree with his debt snowball method of paying off debt.

The greatest thing about the debt snowball method is that it’s so incredibly simple that anybody can understand it! It makes it super accessible to anybody.

Being in debt can really strangle you and make your entire life more complicated. If you’re able to get rid of all your debt, your entire life will change.

Dave Ramsey’s debt snowball method is a great way to start paying off debt because it’s based on psychology and small wins to get you started on the right foot. Let me teach you how to make the debt snowball method work for you!

 

 

What is the debt snowball method?

With the Debt Snowball Method, debts are paid off in order of lowest balance.

Order your debts from lowest balance to highest balance, disregarding minimum payment amounts and interest rates. Pay the minimum amount on all debts.

Pay as much as you can, in addition to the minimum payment, on the debt with the lowest balance. The extra money you plan to apply to debt each month is called your “debt snowball.”

Once it is paid off, apply that minimum payment + your debt snowball to your next lowest balance.

Your debt snowball will grow larger and larger as you continue adding the previous minimum payment to the next debt.

what-is-the-debt-snowball

For this example, let’s say you have £100 extra to pay on debt every month:

Department Store Credit Card = £1,200; 23% interest rate; £55 minimum

Auto Loan = £7,000; 9% interest rate; £190 minimum

Student Loan = £20,000; 6% interest rate; £240 minimum

Travel Rewards Credit Card = £400; 18% interest rate; £30 minimum

Debt Snowball: £100

After ordering these debts from lowest balance to highest balance, you would focus on paying off the Travel Rewards Credit Card first, applying your £100 snowball each month.

Once that is paid off, you will move to the Department Store Credit Card. Your debt snowball at this time will be £130 (£100 initial snowball + £30 Travel Rewards Credit Card minimum payment).

Each month, you will pay £185 on the Department Store Credit Card (£130 snowball + £55 minimum payment).

Once that is paid you, you’ll target the Auto Loan (£185 snowball + £190 minimum payment). Lastly, you’ll tackle the Student Loan (£375 snowball + £240 minimum payment).

In this example, you would be paying £615 towards your Student Loan each month, an extra £375!

Related posts:

Interested in learning about the different methods of paying off debt or advice in paying it off? Then see our posts below:

 

 

Tips for the debt snowball method

  1. Create a Budget

Before you even develop a plan to pay off debt, you should create a budget which lists all of your income and expenses. You need to know where you are starting so that you have an idea of where you are trying to go.

  1. Trim the Fat

Really dig into your expenses and determine if there is anything you can get rid of. This will increase the amount you can apply toward debt payments, hence the income boost listed above.

  1. List All Debts

List all of your debts in order, beginning with the debt that has the lowest balance. Ignore the interest rates. The debt snowball method focuses on paying off the debt with the smallest balances, unlike the debt avalanche method which focuses on paying off the debts with the highest interest rates.

  1. Make the Payments

After you’ve listed all of your debts from smallest to largest, begin making the minimum payments on all balances except for the debt with the lowest balance. Any extra money, in addition to the minimum payment, should be paid towards the debt with the lowest balance.

  1. Earn Extra Income

If you’ve trimmed the fat from every expense that you could and your income is still not enough to kick start your debt payoff, then you might have to pick up a part-time job or start some sort of side hustle. If you need extra income to help get rid of your debt, check out my blog post for

Related posts:

Interested in learning how to create a budget? but don’t know where to start? See our post below:

Interested in cutting down your expenses, but don’t know where to start? See our post below:

Interested in earning some extra cash? Check out my posts below on how to earn money online with a sidehustle fast!

 

 

Debt snowball method excel template

If you want to see quickly how long it will take you to pay off each debt, the best way to do that is using a pre-designed debt payoff spreadsheet. I used the Google Sheets Debt Payoff Template

They also have an Excel version of the Dave Ramsey Snowball Concept and you can choose between the Snowball method or the Avalanche method of debt payoff.

 

Why the debt snowball works

The debt snowball method leverages momentum over math.

The idea is to get a quick win by paying off a small debt first. This win will give you the motivation to continue aggressively attacking your debt.

It’s the same psychology that’s necessary for weight loss. If you can lose those first few pounds quickly, you’ll be motivated to continue your regimen and lose more weight.

what-is-the-debt-snowball

This approach is what distinguishes it from the debt avalanche method.

The debt avalanche method is intended to save you the most money overall by attacking your debt from the highest interest rate to the smallest.

Though, both methods will get you to the ultimate goal of paying off debt.

 

Make sure your debts are organised

This has to be the first step before you even start to plan your debt snowball. You’re going to find it pretty tough to use the snowball method effectively if you don’t organize your debts. You need to know exactly how many debts you have and how much they total.

From there, you can work out your smallest debt and begin the snowball effect. This is one of the steps many people struggle with.

It can be daunting and let’s face it, depressing, writing down everything you owe, and actually seeing it there in front of you. However, by doing so, you’re actually taking control over your finances, rather than letting them control you.

Plus, you’ll soon start to feel much better when you put the snowball method into effect and you see those debts coming down.

Related post:

Interested in learning how to organise your finances, but don’t know where to start? See our post below:

 

 

Why does this method work so fast?

As you pay off debts, the amount that you’re paying on them increases. There are no minimum payments allowed on the snowball debt method–and that is why it works!

Instead of languishing behind constant interest {which never stops} you’re steadily increasing your payments so you can finally get ahead and stay there!

 

My opinion on the debt snowball method

It really depends on your circumstances, but this is definitely a great debt strategy for someone who is feeling overwhelmed by debt.

If you have many debts with varying balances this method could help you to focus on one debt at a time.

what-is-the-debt-snowball

I think the biggest benefit of The Snowball Method is that it can be very encouraging to see each small debt disappear.

Eliminating a debt feels incredible and it is likely to motivate you to continue paying off the rest of your debts.

You’ll probably pay a little more (or maybe a lot more depending on your circumstances) in interest in the long run. That’s something that needs to be weighed against the motivation benefit of this method.

 

What is the debt snowball method – Final thought?

When paying off debt, you must realize that it won’t be easy. No sacrifice is ever easy. If you want to change the trajectory of your life and that of future generations, stay focused and put it in the work.

The debt snowball method really works and it allows you to see your actual progress much quicker than if you had started paying on the highest debt first.

It also keeps you motivated and if followed correctly can have you living a debt-free life sooner than you think. I wholeheartedly encourage you to use this method because it will change your life. It certainly changed mine.

What are your thoughts on the debt snowball method?

If you found this post useful, you might want to save THIS PIN below to your Pinterest Debt board for later!

what-is-the-debt-snowball



how-to-use-the-cash-envelope-system

How To Use the Cash Envelope System – Simple Guide

Today I will discussing how to use the cash envelope system, another tip by financial guru Dave Ramsey.

The cash envelope system can be a game changer for anyone struggling with money.

It is the best way to only spend what you can actually afford. In cash!

For many people, they can’t imagine ever spending money any other way than using the cash envelope system.

While it is a game changer, you must learn how to use the cash envelope system correctly. If not, you are in the same game as before. It won’t be able to work properly and you won’t see the greatest benefits of using cash.

Moving over to a cash envelope system is the simplest tool to start budgeting. Over time, it will help you to stop living payday to payday and start saving more money.

The cash envelope system is a great way to jump into budgeting for the first time. You get to see how and where you are physically spending your money. Online transactions are harder to track and more difficult to feel the pain of spending money.

Let’s learn how to start using the cash envelope system properly.

 

 

How to use the cash envelope system

What is the cash envelope system?

The cash envelope system is a way to visualise and maintain your budget. In your budget, you will have categories of spending. Some or all of those categories will have an envelope.

Whether you decide to move to a complete cash system or a mixture of cash and digital is up to you.

how-to-use-the-cash-envelope-system

Inside the envelope, you will place the cash you need (that you have previously budgeted) for each category.

During the month you will use those envelopes of cash to pay for items from each category.

The idea is to use the cash to help you stay on budget in each category and not to overspend. Allowing you to free up money to save more or even pay down debt!

 

How does the cash envelope system work?

Before you develop an opinion on cash envelopes, it’s important to know exactly how cash envelopes work!

Basically, instead of using your debit card for certain purchases, you choose to use cash instead.

This means that you have to intentionally decide how much money you want to spend in certain categories of your budget.

Then, head to the bank and withdraw cash from your checking account for those categories.

Seems like too much work? I promise it’s not! Plus, cash envelopes help people develop positive habits such as living within their means!

It’s a great way to help you stick to your budget and not swipe the debit card too many times!

 

How the cash envelope method can help you control your spending

Studies have shown that most people spend less when they use cash. The physical act of putting the dollars/pounds in someone’s hand and seeing them go is more painful than swiping a card, and the physical ability to see when the cash is gone and you have no money to spend will prevent you from overspending.

Swiping plastic can be so easy and can lead to massive overspending! Cash envelopes force you to think twice before spending.

how-to-use-the-cash-envelope-system

If you run out of money in your cash envelope, you cannot spend any more money.

This method won’t work if you just pull out your card when the cash in your envelope is gone. You must practice discipline so that if the cash is gone, you do not spend.

Related post:

Interested in learning how to organise your finances, but don’t know where to start? See our post below:

 

 

Create a budget

The cash envelope system won’t work if you don’t have a budget created. To be successful with cash envelopes, you have a lot of work that needs to be done before you begin the process of switching from debit to cash for your budget.

If you haven’t already, you need to create a successful budget. That’s the first step. I’m not going to lie, the hard part of the cash envelope system is not using the system itself, but developing and perfecting a budget that allows you to use envelopes in the first place.

Related post:

Interested in learning how to create a budget? but don’t know where to start? See our post below:

 

 

Withdrawing your cash and set it aside

After every payday, you can get your money and put your budgeted amount of cash inside each of the envelopes. It is important that you do this right away so that you don’t forget and use the money for something else.

The sooner you can set aside your budget, the better. If you get paid once a month, you will be getting all of the money and putting it in the designated cash envelopes.

how-to-use-the-cash-envelope-system

If you are paid twice a month, you will divide your total amount needed per month by two and this will be the amount you will withdraw or get from your payday every time.

 

Cash envelope categories ideas

I don’t recommend pulling cash out to pay your rent or electricity bill. Those are both expenses where you aren’t likely to overspend each month.

Instead, pull cash out for areas in your budget where you tend to spend too much money.

Not sure where you are spending too much money? That’s okay! I recommend printing off your bank statements from last month. Go through each transaction and categorize it.

Highlight all the transactions where you went out to eat in one colour. Then use a different colour highlighter for all the times you ran to the grocery store.

Once you’ve categorised your transactions, add up how much you’re spending in each area. If you’re spending more than you had budgeted, then chances are you need a cash envelope for that category!

Below are common cash envelope categories:

  • Food: Groceries
  • Food: Eating out
  • Haircuts
  • Fun Money
  • Entertainment
  • Clothing
  • Car Maintenance
  • Home Repairs
  • Christmas

Ultimately, find what works for you when it comes to using cash envelopes.

 

Track your expenses

The beauty of this cash-only system is that it helps you eliminate overspending. When the money is gone, it’s gone.

With that being said, that doesn’t mean there isn’t room for improvement in your budget. When you look back over your month and wonder, where did my money go? You can look back and see exactly where your money went!

Related post:

Interested in cutting down your expenses, but don’t know where to start? See our post below:

 

 

Stick to a budget

If you run out of cash in any one category and your envelope is empty, that means you can’t spend any more money from that envelope.

When first starting out you can borrow from other envelopes, but be aware that this is a signal that you may need to adjust your budget or your spending.

Be sure to record any money you took out of another envelope and record the new amounts.

But you want to avoid having to borrow from any other envelopes too often and adjust your budget and spending as needed during your next budget review.

 

Allocate leftover cash

If you have cash left over at the end of the week or month then you are doing great!

Any leftover cash should be allocated towards debt first and then towards savings. If you haven’t already built up an emergency fund then put any extra cash towards your first $/£1000 emergency fund then start tackling your debt.

If you find you always have extra in certain categories, then reallocate that money to any categories you may be going over in, or start directing it at paying off your debt, or building your savings and reduce that category amount for the future

Related posts:

Interested in learning more about creating an emergency fund? Then see our post below:

Interested in learning about the different methods of paying off debt or advice in paying it off? Then see our posts below:

 

.

Do I Have to use cash for everything?

No, you don’t have to use cash for everything. Overall, there’s not a huge benefit to paying your monthly bills with cash. Paying large payments with cash can become cumbersome and I really don’t see a bonus to doing it this way.

I’ll cover this in further detail in a bit. But my personal choice for paying monthly bills is to use online bill pay and use the cash envelope system for day-to-day purchases.

 

Why cash envelopes work so well

This system works so well because it’s simple and tangible. When you’re purchasing everything with credit it becomes so easy to swipe your card without even thinking about the money you’re spending.

When using cash only you are physically dealing with the money which somehow changes your money mindset.

 

Pros of cash envelopes

  • Fewer transactions to reconcile when you balance your budget (for example – one cash withdrawal instead of 20 little fast-food purchases)
  • Easily see you have no more money to spend
  • Forces you to be organised
  • Deters impulsive overspending from online and card purchases
  • Total awareness of your budget and spending

 

Cons of cash envelopes

  • You can lose cash
  • Can be impractical if you do a lot of online shopping
  • Requires organisation to get cash out in a timely manner
  • Requires you to go to bank and withdraw cash every time you get paid

 

How to use the cash envelope system – Final thought

The cash envelope system is designed to teach you discipline in your spending and to help you overcome your habit of overspending.

It may be hard at first to carry around all that cash and not use your debit card anymore, you may even get some funny looks for whipping out an envelope with cash. But who cares?

This is for you and only you, a way to help you control your finances and be more intentional with your spending.

Have you tried the cash envelope system? Did it work for you?

If you found this post useful, you might want to save THIS PIN below to your Pinterest Finance board for later!

how-to-use-the-cash-envelope-system



dave-ramsey's-7-baby-steps

Dave Ramsey’s 7 Baby Steps – Path to Financial Freedom!

Finances are a struggle. They’re the epitome of adulting and not everyone has them figured out. It takes a lot of effort and self-discipline to get things together, so I’m going to walk you through a popular financial strategy known as Dave Ramsey’s 7 Baby Steps that will hopefully make things easier.

You probably already know that personal finance is an ever-growing topic because it has an effect on everyone. Every individual is exposed to money in some capacity and it is important to understand how it works.

 

 

Who is Dave Ramsey?

Dave Ramsey is one of the world’s foremost experts on personal finances and has been instrumental in helping people take back control of their finances. He hosts the popular podcast The Dave Ramsey Show and his book, The Total Money Makeover, is a must-read.

 

More about Dave Ramsey

The former realtor lost everything and filed for bankruptcy in his early years.

Somehow, he managed to get out of debt and began another path of helping others take the same quest.

dave-ramsey's-7-baby-steps

Known for his Christian background and no-nonsense approach to personal finance, Ramsey gradually rose to become one of the most trusted and sought-after financial advisers in the United States.

He has a huge fan base of followers. With an estimated net worth of $55 million, Ramsey is a living proof that you, too, can turn a bad financial situation around.

 

Dave Ramsey’s 7 Baby Steps – Path to Financial Freedom!

So, what’s so special about the 7 steps? Nothing really. It’s simply age-old, practical components of financial management and wealth building.

Though most people think of it as an all-encompassing approach to finances, it should only be considered as a minimum of what you should do.

As many critics of Dave Ramsey note, there are some components and considerations that are missing. I’ll discuss those at each step.

So here is breakdown of Dave Ramsey’s 7 baby steps. I strongly believe they will help you with your finances when correctly implemented:

 

Step 1: Save $/£1,000 to start your emergency fund

This is the most significant thing you can do for yourself financially. You never know when you will have to deal with a situation that requires a large amount of money. Maybe your alternator goes out or it rains and you find out your roof is leaking and needs to be patched. Having an emergency fund will let you cover these expenses without getting in debt or dipping into your savings (if you have any).

Where to Keep Your Emergency Fund?

Putting this cash in an online savings account is a great choice since it will give you a good interest rate and you’ll have easy access to it if ever needed.

I recommend using an online savings account so the money isn’t easily accessible. Yes, you can get to it but you can’t just go down to the ATM and pull funds out. At a minimum, you may want to consider having the savings account at a different bank than your main bank. That way there is at least a small barrier so you don’t just transfer money over to your checking because the balance is getting low.

Your contingency plan does not necessarily have to be of $/£1000. It’s ok if you consider, especially in today’s economy, that you can need a larger fund to have a better sense of protection. If your expenses are really low, a $/£500 emergency fund might make more sense. The ultimate goal with this step is to not have to incur debt to handle an unforeseen event.

Related posts:

Interested in learning more about creating an emergency fund? Then see our post below:

 

 

Step 2: Pay all your debts except for the mortgage

After you save $/£1,000 emergency fund, Baby Step 2 is paying off all your debt. This step does not include your mortgage. Use the debt snowball method for the best results. It is the most effective strategy to achieve Baby Step two.

There are many ways to pay off your debt. Some people try to tackle all their debt at the same time. They pay a little bit extra every month on everything, even the house, but gain no traction. Other people focus on targeting the highest interest rate debt first. However, in my opinion, the best way to get out of debt ASAP is the debt snowball.

dave-ramsey's-7-baby-steps

To get the ball rolling, make a list of all your debts, from the smallest balance to the largest. Continue making minimum payments on all your debts. Then, focus on eliminating them one at a time, starting with the smallest one.

Once you have eliminated the first debt on the list, move on to the second one. You must focus on reducing one debt at a time as you continue making minimum payments on everything else.

Related posts:

Interested in learning about the different methods of paying off debt or advice in paying it off? Then see our posts below:

 

 

Step 3: Save 3-6 month’s worth of expenses

This will be your larger emergency fund, or cushion if you or your spouse happen to lose a job or have unexpected medical bills.

It is meant to be your fallout for large unexpected life events. A job loss, a death in the family, an injury preventing you from working can cause some serious hardship if you aren’t prepared.

What may seem like a tsunami to some, may feel like a small rainfall to someone with a beefed-up savings.

Some jobs are easier to replace than others. If you work in a field where job security may be scarce, then you should save more money. Some experts even suggest saving up to 9 month’s worth of expenses.

Related post:

Interested in cutting down your expenses, but don’t know where to start? See our post below:

 

 

Step 4: Invest 15% into retirement

You want to retire comfortably right? Do you really want to work when you’re retired?

Dave suggests saving 15% of your income for retirement. A lot of people think that this amount is huge, do me a favour, add up all of your debt. How much percentage of your income goes to your debt?

dave-ramsey's-7-baby-steps

Probably more than 15%, right? If you get paid $2,000 monthly and have a car payment of $195, that’s 10% already. Then you probably have your loans and some credit card debt, am I right?

All that money you were putting towards debt can now go into retirement.

 

Step 5: Fund college for your children (university for my UK people)

Depending on the age of your children you may simply be saving for your children’s college education or you may be assisting in paying for college.

No matter the age of your children again this is a personal choice step.  You may choose to help with college education or you may choose to assist your child in applying for scholarships.

How you choose to follow through with this step is again your choice and based on your finances.

 

Step 6: Pay off your home

Mortgage debt works differently from other types of consumer debt, making it easier to put aside until after you’ve got other healthier financial habits in place. You’ll still be continuing Baby Steps 4 and 5 in this step, but now you can focus on getting rid of this last hurdle.

If you’re still paying off your mortgage, now is the time to get rid of it. As you did with your debt in Baby Step 2, you’ll put all of your extra money towards paying down the mortgage on your home.

This allows you to own your own home outright so that you don’t have to worry about mortgage payments as you head into retirement.

 

Step 7: Build wealth and give

The last step is to create a legacy by giving back with your money. That can look like helping out friends and family or donating to charitable causes that are meaningful and important to you.

You can also focus on building wealth to live a more comfortable life in retirement, to create an inheritance for your kids, or to create a foundation to continue your legacy after you’re gone.

It’s your call on how to use your money now that it’s not obligated to debts.

 

Dave Ramsey’s 7 Baby Steps – Final thought

Believe it or not, a lot of people have followed these Dave Ramsey’s Baby Steps and walked away with financial independence. I know that’s something you’d like to have.

The reality is:

It’s not that difficult to follow these steps. Sure, you’ll get stumbled on some of these. But that’s the part of going through these steps.

If these steps are so easy, then, a lot of people would be doing them and a lot of them would be successful by now.

The fact remains:

Those who tried and followed these steps could see big, better financial changes in their lives.

Have you done any of Dave Ramsey’s baby steps? If not, are you willing to try them to improve your financial situation?

If you found this post useful, you might want to save THIS PIN below to your Pinterest Finance board for later!

dave-ramsey's-7-baby-steps



20-dave-ramsey-tips

20 Dave Ramsey Money Tips – The Path to Financial Freedom!

Whether you are looking for ways to get out of debt fast or ways to save money when you are on a tight budget and living payday to payday, Dave Ramsey’s money tips can help you a great deal.

Dave Ramsey is one of the world’s foremost experts on personal finances and has been instrumental in helping people take back control of their finances. He hosts the popular podcast The Dave Ramsey Show and his book, The Total Money Makeover, is a must-read.

Over the past year I have benefited immensely from the insights detailed in his Total Money Makeover book.

 

 

More about Dave Ramsey

The former realtor lost everything and filed for bankruptcy in his early years.

Somehow, he managed to get out of debt and began another path of helping others take the same quest.

20-dave-ramsey-tips

Known for his Christian background and no-nonsense approach to personal finance, Ramsey gradually rose to become one of the most trusted and sought-after financial advisers in the United States.

He has a huge fan base of followers. With an estimated net worth of $55 million, Ramsey is a living proof that you, too, can turn a bad financial situation around.

 

20 Dave Ramsey Money Tips

Now, if you don’t have the time to indulge in his book, I have gathered the 10 best Dave Ramsey tips for saving money and living your best life, which you can quickly apply to yourself to finally get out of debt and to get ahead financially.

 

Take care of your four walls first

Taking care of your four walls first the single most important financial mindset shift beginner budgeters can make. When budgeting it’s always a good idea to prioritise what you spend your

hard-earned cash on, especially if you’re in an emergency cash flow situation.

When your electricity is getting ready to be turned off and you’re struggling to make ends meet, Dave Ramsey recommends focusing on the four most important things in your life first and budgeting accordingly. These should always be accounted for first in this order.

The four walls include:

  • Food
  • Shelter/Home
  • Transportation
  • Clothing

Put the four walls of your home up first when you’re in a crisis situation. He then recommends working your way through the other stuff.

 

Create a zero-based budget using the envelope system

Creating a monthly budget is the first and most important step to save money, pay off debt for good and build wealth. By creating a budget, you are essentially telling your money where to go.

Bottom of Form

The most important Dave Ramsey tips for saving money is creating a zero-based budget. It ensures all of your income is accounted for. In other words, you assign every dollar you earn a job by allocating it to an expense category in your budget.

20-dave-ramsey-tips

The concept of envelope system is simple: you put cash in individual envelopes for each spending category in your budget such as groceries, entertainment and clothing. You will only put the budgeted amount for each spending category in individual envelopes.

When you pay for something, the money has to come out of the appropriate envelope. When the cash in the envelope is gone, you cannot spend anymore. If you are constantly overspending on certain categories in your budget, then you can try the cash envelope system to stick to your budget.

 

Use cash

Using cash saves you on average 15-20% just at the store. Studies have shown that we spend cash differently than swiping a card. We question the purchase differently and spend less when using cash.

Cash envelopes are a convenient way to organize your cash for each category and stick to your budget. Using cash helps you stick to your plan and stop overspending.

It is not necessary to use cash for every single bill. You would use cash for shopping and categories that you have a tendency to overspend.

Once you are out of cash in that category, stop spending for that category.

Some cash categories include:

  • food
  • animals
  • miscellaneous expenses
  • hair/beauty
  • kids expenses
  • eating out
  • fun money

You can also get a discount at a lot of places for using cash. Especially on someone providing a service and even medical bills. All you have to do it ask; the worst they can do is say no.

When you use only cash to pay for your daily living expenses, the money spent comes out of the appropriate cash envelopes. Using cash to pay for your daily expenses helps you stick to your budget and stop overspending.

Related posts:

Interested in changing your money mindset to live a happier life financially? Then take a look at our post below:

 

 

The 24-hour budget rule

This one is going to hurt your soul but help your bank account.

Whenever you want to buy something desperately and think the world is going to come crashing down if you do not get it right this very minute- wait 24 hours. Wait a day before you swipe your card or give away your hard-earned cash.

Our brains very quickly convince us that we NEED what we WANT.

A great example would be the time I discovered an awesome clothing advice and proceeded to convince myself I barely have anything to wear. I then went on to swipe my card before logic kicked in.

The 24-hour rule allows us to process the situation better and put some thought into how we are using our money.

Delayed gratification can be your friend if you would only let it.

Related post:

Would you like to know how to create a budget, but don’t know where to start? Then see the post below:

 

 

You need an emergency fund

Being without an emergency fund is an emergency! In fact, this is so important that saving up a $/£1000 emergency fund is actually Baby step #1 in his #7 step wealth guide. This guarantees you won’t go into debt for the unexpected things in life like an emergency medical bill, dental work or work on your car.

Don’t dig into your emergency fund unless, it’s an – you guessed it, emergency! Sell items around the house, take on a weekend job or however else you can earn money to work your way to the $/£1000 ASAP.

Related posts:

Interested in learning more about creating an emergency fund? Then see our post below:

 

 

Use sinking funds

Sinking funds operate in a similar function to an emergency fund, except you are already prepared for the fee. They’re effectively a highly strategic way to save a chunk of money to pay for large expenses that are planned. If you don’t have sinking funds, special events and medical treatments (US people) can quickly sneak up on you and before you know it, you have no funds stashed away for it.

These things can include dental fees, routine veterinary bills, vacations, birthdays, Christmas etc.

These are all things you can save for months in advance and put into a separate cash envelope so it isn’t used in your everyday bank account. Better yet, set up a bank account specifically for your sinking funds. Ideally, you’ll want one with a 2-3% interest rate minimum.

 

Pay off debt using debt snowball

Dave Ramsey believes that you should make an attempt to pay off all debt (with the exception of your mortgage). There are many different methods that can be used when paying off debt. However, the easiest and best according to Dave Ramsey is the debt snowball method.

20-dave-ramsey-tips

Debt snowball means tackling one debt at a time, from the smallest to the largest. You start off by paying all your extra money towards the smallest debt whilst still paying the minimum on all the others.

As you are finished with the first debt, you can then move on to the second, putting all your extra money towards this one whilst still paying the minimum on the others. You continue doing this until all your debt is paid off. And as each debt is finished, you now have even more money to put towards the other larger debts.

Related posts:

Interested in learning about the different methods of paying off debt or advice in paying it off? Then see our posts below:

 

 

Get rid of the plastic friend (credit cards)

Dave Ramsey believes that people who are trying to achieve financial freedom should not own credit cards. This is especially for the person who lacks self-control and who cannot stop spending.

20-dave-ramsey-tips

You typically hear the saying “just charge it to my card.” Do you know that charging it to your card means you are borrowing this money? Get in the habit of not making purchases unless you have the cash to pay up front. Or if you MUST keep your credit card, be sure to pay it back straight away to avoid high interest fees.

However, Dave would probably encourage you to cut them up and throw them out!

 

Build credit with good credit not bad credit If you have no other option

According to Dave Ramsey, a mortgage is considered as “good credit” and just about everything else is considered as “bad credit”.

When you are buying a house, it can be a good investment because you think it will rise in value over time. So, when you are paying a mortgage you are essentially building credit (money) with good credit (mortgage).

20-dave-ramsey-tips

When you pay a mortgage, it is good credit because it comes with a great interest rate against substantial collateral you expect to rise in value over time.

If you take a car loan, it is considered bad credit because you end up with a depreciating value in your asset.

 

Pay off your home

If you’ve cleared all your other debts and you’re saving for long-term financial goals consistently, the next step is knocking out your mortgage.

This is the step I’m currently on, though since I just bought a home, I’ve got a long way to go to get to zero.

If you own a home, figure out what you can do to get rid of your mortgage payment ASAP. Refinancing to a new loan at a lower interest rate, for example, means more of your payment goes to the principal each month.

Downsizing to a smaller home with a smaller mortgage is another option. And if you haven’t bought a home yet but want to, figure out what you can afford for your budget so you don’t end up house-poor.

 

Keep you current mobile/cell phone

People have probably called Dave Ramsey for tips on their mobile/cell phones. If they did, I’m glad I missed it. I’m sure they would have gotten a Dave Ramsey scolding.

This is really a no brainer. If your phone works keep it. Phones are so expensive now and are pretty much worth nothing. The marketing on phones is crazy, they essentially make you think you are missing out by not having the latest greatest phone.

Why would you pay $/£1,000 or more every two years for a new phone that has a few more features than yours? If your phone is broken, there are plenty of refurbished and used phones for sale.

 

Track your expenses

You can’ stay within your budget if you aren’t tracking your expenses. Dave’s tip is to track your expenses throughout the month, which is exactly what our parents and grandparents did when balancing their checkbook.

To help you do this, Dave created his own app called the Every Dollar app. This app allows you to input your budget and track your expenses.

Tracking your expenses is important so that you know if you’re within your budget or not.

Related post:

Interested in cutting down your expenses, but don’t know where to start? See our post below:

 

 

Make a payment schedule

When you have bills to pay each month, try to schedule them on the same dates each month.

That’s one of the baby steps you can take, which can help you big time later on.

In all seriousness, this is probably one of the easiest things to do.

You don’t even need a high school or college education to see the value of getting into a payment schedule.

Preparing your payment schedule will help to ease stress and ensure that you’ll have the money in your account when the time comes to pay the bills.

 

Pay off your credit card balances in full each month

When you use credit cards but do not pay off your outstanding balances each month, you accrue interest charges which varies depending on the credit card provider and your credit score.

If you really cannot pay off your credit card bill in full each month, just stop using your card and use cash instead.

 

Be on the same page with your spouse

Another of the most important Dave Ramsey tips is to be on the same page with your spouse about money.

If you are married, you need to agree with your spouse about the most important elements of money if you want to have a happy marriage and succeed in personal finance. If one of you loves to overspend and doesn’t see anything wrong with racking up tons of credit card debt and never saving for retirement and the other hates debt and wants to save for a nice, comfortable retirement—well, that’s a problem.

If you don’t see eye to eye on money, even if one of you tries hard to do smart things with your money, the other one will either intentionally or inadvertently sabotage your efforts.

 

Don’t compare your spending to that of others 

It’s easy to compare your situation to that of others and say, “Mr. Smith can spend all of that money on a car, so why can’t I?”

You’re not Mr. Smith.

You both have totally different budgets and comparing your situation to that of others, or trying to spend as much money as someone else can lead to an empty bank account and an unhappy situation.

Always view your situation as just that. Your situation.

 

Act your wage

Live within your means and do not spend more than you earn. Actually, you need to spend much less than you make if you are ever going to become debt-free. In the Total Money Makeover, Dave talks about keeping up with the Joneses.

Don’t let the pressure to conform with the consumeristic norms set by your peers, neighbours, friends, or media drive you into debt.

Want to drive the best car? Live in the biggest house? Send your kids to the most expensive schools? If you live your life only to impress, you better have deep pockets. To quote Dave Ramsey:

Don’t even consider keeping up with the Joneses. They’re broke!

 

Stop buying named brands

I’m a huge believer that when I buy a name brand, I’m buying the name. There are so many items that are exactly the same. Let’s take food for example. You can look at the ingredients of the name brand and the generic brand and they are exactly the same.

There are a few items that I’m willing to pay for the name brand because I do see a difference. Other than that, I buy generic.

 

Increase Your Income

There is only so much you can do to lower your monthly expenses. If your expenses exceed your income, this is the time to take up additional part-time jobs or side hustle.

By increasing your income, you can pay off debt faster, save/invest for retirement, and even take a nice vacation without breaking your budget.

Related posts:

Interested in earning some extra cash through a side hustle? Then see the posts below:

 

 

Try to get to the conclusion first

Dave Ramsey clearly stated on his website that people should plan their spending correctly, will get ahead. Children usually do what they like.

They don’t plan anything. While spending money, we typically don’t think where we want to go. So, devise a plan like an adult and stick to it.

Always keep in mind that planning your expenses is as relevant as earning.

 

20 Dave Ramsey Money Tips – Final thought

The journey to financial security can be a long, tough road which requires a great amount of discipline. That is why I always recommending following the advice of people like Dave Ramsey, a financial guru who’s been there, done that.

Condition your mind and set your priorities straight. Follow the tips outlined in this article. And most importantly, remember that the journey might feel difficult at times, but the reward of financial security is worth the struggle. I promise.

Do you have any other financial tips you recommend? Let me know in the comments!

If you found this post useful, you might want to save THIS PIN below to your Pinterest Finance board for later!

20-dave-ramsey-tips



10-smart-Money-Habits

10 Smart Money Habits – Simple Guide of 10 Tips

Are you adopting smart money habits so you can grow healthy, wealthy and wise?

When it comes to your finances, the patterns you create with your money can make or break you.

I developed some terrible money habits in my 20s. They lead me into a downward spiral of credit card debt and unpaid bills.

It wasn’t pretty. But I was able to sort things out and get my finances on track by adopting some better money habits instead.

And now the credit card bills are long gone. They’ve been replaced by savings, investments and sweet, sweet financial security.

Sounds good, right?

I want you to get on the path to financial freedom, too. That’s what we’re all about here.

So, dive into this post to learn the top good money habits you should be following that can put you on the path to a richer life!

Here are my 10 smart money habits.

 

 

10 Smart Money Habits

Educate yourself about personal finance

I will never understand why personal finance isn’t taught in schools. At least the very basics should be covered. Unfortunately, it’s not so it’s down to you to make sure you educate yourself properly.

Everything I know about finance has come from doing my own research and learning along the way. When you leave school, you’re more than likely going to get your first job. That’s a bunch of 16-year olds earning money for the first time when they don’t have the first clue about wages.

It’s crazy. If there’s something you don’t understand when it comes to money just ask or research it. Don’t turn a blind eye when it comes to money matters. The more knowledge you have, the better.

You need a good solid knowledge of what’s on your wage slip so tax (and your tax code), National Insurance contributions, pension deductions, student loan deductions and any medical schemes run through your company that are deducted from your wage.

You also need to know about rent/mortgages, bank accounts and credit scores. So, take some time to make sure you’re properly clued up.

 

Create a budget

This might sound boring and you may have heard it all before, but don’t think of it as being a restrictive budget. Instead, this budget is designed to help you understand how much you can save and invest for your future.

This is one of the simplest and most effective financial planning tools. By using a budget, you will create an awareness of where you are spending your money and this will give you control over your hard-earned cash.

10-smart-Money-Habits

By creating a budget, you can set an intention for your money and by setting estimated spending limits, you can learn to judge what is a responsible amount to spend (e.g., Holidays). This is a much better money habit to have because you can set guilt-free spending amounts.

Related post:

Would you like to know how to create a budget, but don’t know where to start? Then see the post below:

 

 

Track your expenses

Having a budget set up is great but in order to stay on track with your budget, you need to track your expenses. You need to keep a record of all the money you are spending each month.

I love using a budget app because it allows me to add up all my expenses throughout the day. If you choose to use a printable budget template, you will need to keep all your receipts so you can write down what you are spending every day.

It is extremely important to keep up with your expenses daily. Little purchases throughout the day can add up and push you over your budget

Related post:

Would you like advice on cutting down your monthly expenses, but don’t know where to start? Then see the post below:

 

 

Set financial goals

Having financial goals is great because it keeps you motivated to work towards something you actually want to achieve.

Financial goals are very subjective and not one size fits all. One person’s financial goal might be to become a millionaire by 50, and another person’s goal might be to get out of debt by 30. It all depends on you and your specific circumstances.

Once you know what your goals are related to your finances, you can start coming up with a plan.

10-smart-Money-Habits

If you are someone who has a lot of debt and wants to pay it off before you turn 30, look at how much you owe. Then, calculate how much you would have to pay every month until you reach 30 to pay it all off.

Sometimes, you may find that you can’t reach those goals in the exact time-frame you set out for yourself. And that’s ok. In that case, set smaller goals which will ultimately get you to your bigger goals and to where you want to be with your finances.

Related post:

Would you like to know how to set SMART financial goals, but don’t know where to start? Then see the post below:

 

 

Don’t overspend

We find it hard to keep or set a limit on how much we are spending. It reveals we are not living within our means.

Have you ever spent-spent-spent then when you checked you bank account you felt deflated? Buyer’s remorse hits you and you promise yourself not to find yourself in the same situation, even return some items.

Or have you walked into the supermarket to pick up just one item and left with a tonne of items you had not planned buying? Yep, I know that all too well.

Our spending habits make or break our bank balance, as an overspender, you have no way of tracking your expenses not even a budget in place. You’ll stop spending when you bank balance hits zero.

Without tracking our expenses, our bank balance gets depleted until it is 0 or in the red and we repeat this cycle month after month.

Related post:

Would you like to know how to complete a no spend month to save money? Then see the post below:

 

 

Start saving

You knew this was coming, didn’t you? Saving money towards your future should definitely be at the top of your financial priorities.

Sometimes though, it can be easier said than done, especially when you are not making a lot of money and are drowning in debt.

In times like these, it is still good to save, even if you are just saving $50/£50 a month. When you get into the habit of saving, it becomes easier for you to put money away later on in life too, no matter what your salary is.

If you find that saving even $50/£50 is a challenge for you, it might be a good idea to find some work from home jobs you can do to create an extra form of income. Online jobs are becoming increasingly more popular because there are a lot to choose from, depending on what your interests are and how much free time you have.

 

 

Plan for retirement

Retirement is probably the last thing on your mind right now but you need to start planning. From the moment I got my first proper job after school, I starting paying into the company pension.

10-smart-Money-Habits

When I started my first job, I noticed there weren’t any pension deductions on my wage so I questioned why and was told new employees usually didn’t start paying into a pension until they’d been there 6 months. I asked to start paying into one from the next wage. That’s why it’s important to know what’s going on with your wage and understand the importance on paying into a pension as soon as you can.

If possible, it doesn’t hurt to set aside your own retirement savings pot either because we all know that when retirement comes that your pension won’t actually be that big. Now is the perfect time to think about the future and have plans in place.

 

Pay your bills on time

I cannot stress the importance of making sure you pay your bills on time. I know there are situations that occur that are sometimes out of our control but being financially savvy and creating good money habits is about avoiding debt and financial trouble.

There are legitimate reasons why you may not be able to pay your bills on time but there are also reasons that just boil down to not making the correct money decisions.

Your bills should come before anything else. That’s why I always recommend paying your bills as soon as you’ve been paid. That way all the important stuff is out of the way and you don’t have to worry about keeping your money back to pay off your bills.

Aligning all your bill payment dates is another really handy tip to ensure that your bills are all getting paid on time. Make sure all your bills have the same payment date or are very close together rather than being spread out across the month.

 

Say no!

I might sound like a bit of a weirdo when I say that you should be saying no to yourself on a very regular basis.

Saying no keeps you grounded.

It stops you building an entitlement mentality, one where you convince yourself you should buy something because you deserve it.

I can’t tell you the number of times I have had a silent conversation with myself about popping out to the shops or go online to treat myself.

I already had my lunch, snacks and drinks so I needed nothing. But I wanted something.

Saying no meant that I kept to my no spending at work plan and stopped the slide back into bad old habits creeping in and destroying my budget.

Related post:

Would like to learn more about how implementing a money mindset can help you achieve financial freedom and live a happier life? Then the post below:

 

 

Put side hustle money to one side

With our living expenses right down, we were living just under half of the money that we made from our main jobs.  This meant that the difference and any side hustle income was for saving/investing.

I made the decision that any side hustle money was to be put in a separate pot.  I’m not what motivated me to do this in the first place but it worked wonders.

Seeing my side hustle income grow independently made me realise how hard I hard been working to achieve it.  It also inspired me to make more.

When the figure didn’t grow much over one month, it would give me a kick up the bottom to find more ways of producing income.

Related posts:

Interested in earning some extra cash through a side hustle? Then see the posts below:

 

 

10 Smart Money Habits – Final thought

We are all creatures of habit, and sometimes this can be a very bad thing. If you’ve struggled in the past with finances, I challenge you to use these principles, and in very little time you’ll be surprised how your circumstances will begin to change.

What are some other habits that can provide people with financial freedom that you know about? I would love to hear them below.

If you found this post useful, you might want to save THIS PIN below to your Pinterest Finance board for later!

10-smart-Money-Habits