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 especially with the Covid-19 pandemic looming over our heads, unsecured jobs opportunities and surviving day by day till payday, this is the time that we need to think carefully on daily survival. I am a retiree with a minimum pension to bide me by. Even though my kids are all grown up and not dependent on me, I am still very frugal in whatever I spend on, as the saying goes, saving on rainy days ahead....
I have thought of getting a remortgage on the house I am living in right now. Due to the inflation, some banks are charging a slightly lower interest rate and it might be a good time to get some cash to tide things over and at the same time, making sure that the monthly instalments will not "bite" into my flesh, literally speaking. To calculate the currency rate and interest, I would recommend this Savings Calculator website, using the US dollar as the default currency symbol. Other than the US currency, this calculator website also allows different compounding frequencies and a feature which allows you to create growth table of savings over time.
Talking about finance and budgeting ourselves, 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 and finances will be pretty well planned out for future retirement.
One place that most of us overspend is on groceries, well, I am certainly one of them. I hit the grocery store and pick up whatever I fancy, and give in to all of the marketing ploys which are designed to make me part with my money. This can lead to a poor diet, running out of things we need midweek and wasting other items. It pays to get organized, and the first way to do this is to create a weekly meal plan.
Another way for me to be frugal is to stop overspending are the monthly subscriptions such as music, Amazon Prime, Netflix, fashion magazines and more. Well, I think I will keep at least one of the movies channels, after all, I need to take time off to relax, right? It’s easy to overlook these as by themselves they don’t cost much, but they do add up. When I am in a good financial position later on in life3, I can always resubscribe later and meanwhile I won't be wasting my money on paying for these extra subscription plans.
These are a few of my suggestions of budgeting myself, after all I don’t need to wait until the new year to start getting my finances in order. Give these things a try today!