During the Christmas Holidays, it is the norm to wipe out your bank account and max out your credit cards buying presents and paying for all the delicious dinners. This leaves most of us financially crippled in the New Year, putting Budgeting at the top of our Resolution Lists.
We at Around Town Flats are no financial advisers but we thought we’d give you a helping hand by creating this basic guide on budgeting and spending less as a head start. We hope you find it useful.
Budgeting sounds like a chore but is a very useful tool. Taking the time to budget does great wonders for your finances and allows you to spend within your means on the things that you need, and allows you to work exactly how disposable income you have left. Visit Money Advice Service https://www.moneyadviceservice.org.uk/en/tools/budget-planner to use their very quick and simple budget calculator to create your own personal cash flow budget for the year.
Exploit available discounts as much as possible to make the most of your money. Signing up to websites like Money Saving Expert and Groupon allows you to get great offers sent straight to your inbox, making you one of the first to get clued up. If you’re a student, Student Beans has great offers in your area for almost everything. We recommend that as soon as you make arrangements to go out, it’s worth searching on Google and these sites for offers. You never know what you may find.
Using Loyalty Cards
Loyalty and reward cards are a great way to get rewards on products you would have already bought. Some high street shops such as Boots offer you great rewards on their Advantage Card loyalty schemes. It’s also worth joining loyalty card schemes such as Nectar, which allows you to earn points from many different retailers and Tesco Clubcard which gives you points for spending in store or online but allows you to spend on many different rewards including days out and cinema trips.
Going out to eat often tends to add up and it is usually cheaper to cook at home. Planning your meals and making a shopping list before you shop saves you more money than buying impulsively. Cutting out your Friday night kebab or visit to the curry house to once every other week and cooking an alternative meal at home is a great way to save money and to stay healthy. For delicious meals on a budget, visit Sainsburys Live well for less page or the BBC Good Food Website.
Saving on Utilities
Utilities tend to cost a fortune, especially in the winter with the extra costs of heating. It is usually worth finding out the cheapest suppliers for your property as it differs. There are a number of websites offering a free utilities service which gives you quotes on who they think the cheapest suppliers for your property is (uswitch.com, gocompare.com, moneysupermarket.com). It usually takes 30 days to switch suppliers so if you are renting you’re a short period, it is worth thinking carefully before switching. Visit the Money Saving Expert utility sections on more saving advice for utilities.
We hope these tips help you to make some wise spending choices. Happy New Year to you from everyone here at Around Town Flats.