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Tuesday, November 13, 2018

Want to Flourish Financially? Here's How You Can Improve Your Budget


Money can be difficult to get right, and most of us start thinking about our finances at this time of year since Christmas is coming up. If you’re forever running out of money, wishing your life away til payday and know that you need to change your situation, here are a few tips that can make life easier for yourself.
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Start your own business
There are so many great reasons for starting up your own business. You get to be the boss, it’s flexible and you can spend your time working on something that actually means something to you- instead of lining the pockets of a big corporation. You could start a business on the side, around a full time job or raising a family. Or you could put your all into it and go part time. It can be a smart move to begin small, if you start your business venture from home there’s no travel time, it’s accessible and you don’t have to cover the rent of commercial premises. As time goes on, you could grow either by outsourcing the work to other companies (and remaining home based) or growing organically and taking on staff members as and when you need them. Software like https://getsling.com/blog/work-schedule-app/ can help you to keep your team organised, and generally help you to stay on top. You could buy items wholesale and sell for a profit, eventually setting up your own shop. You could utilise a skill or qualification you have, for example set up a beauty salon, bakery or photography business. You could become a professional blogger, or work as a freelancer. There are plenty of options, and it’s something that could suit just about anyone. It’s a way to build your skills, move forward in your career and earn money in a flexible way.

Organise your finances
It doesn’t matter how much money you’re bringing in, if it’s not being managed properly then you’re always going to end up falling behind. You need to work out exactly what comes in each month and what goes out, and have a system so that your bills are always being paid on time. One method that works well is to find out what your monthly outgoings are, and then divide that by four. Then each week you can transfer that amount to a separate bills account, and have everything come out of that account by direct debit. That way you pay the same amount each week (so don’t have some weeks where you’re struggling) and you don’t even need to make any phonecalls or go online to pay anything. Make sure there’s some extra money in there at first as a buffer, and then every time you get paid, you only need to make one transfer. You can then buy groceries and cover things like fuel or travel costs with what’s left, and the rest is yours to save or spend. It really streamlines bill paying and takes out the guesswork. With all of your bills and outgoings being taken from a bank account separate from your main account, you never accidentally spend onto it. Once the money has been transferred it’s essentially ‘out of your hands’ which can make budgeting much easier.

Save money on your groceries
One place that most of us overspend is on groceries. We hit the grocery store and pick up whatever we fancy, and give in to all of the marketing ploys which are designed to make us part with our money. This can lead to a poor diet, running out of things we need midweek and wasting other items. It pays to get organised, and the first way to do this is to create a weekly meal plan. Decide what you’re going to eat on each day of the week, and then build a shopping list based on this. When you go into the grocery store, you can get exactly what you need without having to browse offers or other things (all of which are designed to make you spend more money, rather than save!) If you stock up your storecupboard with lots of long life items such as tins, packets, grains, herbs and spices, you’ll always have a number of ingredients on hand already. Taking your own coffees and lunches to work instead of buying them while you’re out can also save you significant amounts of cash. This is a habit that’s also better for your waistline, your own coffee can be prepared without lashings of cream or whole milk and syrups like a coffee shop’s would. You can make healthy salads, sandwiches and other lunches where you know exactly what’s gone into it.

Stop overspending on bills
When it comes to paying bills, all of us have to do it (reluctantly). It’s easy to assume there’s not much that can be done about them, and we have to just pay up whatever it is that the providers say we owe. But actually, a little shopping around can save you massively over the course of the year, things like gas and electricity prices, water rates and broadband costs for example will all vary by provider. Since these things are competitive, companies will often offer the best rates for your custom. Another thing you might be overspending on when it comes to your bills are little luxuries like music subscriptions, Amazon Prime, Netflix, magazine subscriptions and more. It’s easy to overlook these as by themselves they don’t cost much, but they do add up. If you use these often and enjoy them then great, but if you’re finding you’re not using them too much these days then cancel them. You can always resubscribe later if you want to, but if you don’t miss the services then you’re wasting your money by paying for them.

You don’t need to wait until the new year to start getting your finances in order. Give these things a try today!

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