You don’t have to search very much online to find guides and blog posts on how to save money. However, sometimes their advice of just buying less or being savvier isn’t enough; if you don’t have enough money to start with your finances can only stretch so far. Today I am going to share with you some simple tools that will help you transform your finances, whatever stage of the money and saving game you are at.
An Honest Look at What You Are Spending
The first thing you need to do is work out a way to have an honest look at what you are spending. Setting up a simple excel spreadsheet should work. However, this does need to be an honest and in-depth look, so don’t just guess what you think you are spending. Instead, look at your bank statements across a number of months and put down some accurate figures – including one-off spending such as birthdays and days out. This will give you a snapshot of what you are spending and where. Lots of us spend without any real thought about how much the little transactions can add up to at the end of the month, and looking at your spending in this way can help.
If your spending doesn’t match up to what you’re bringing in then you need to consider a plan of action. Try reducing payments such as mobile phone contracts, energy suppliers and insurances by shopping around when they’re up for renewal. If your really struggling then you could look at consolidating any owned debts into smaller payments, learn more.
A Budget Planner
Once you get this far you need to look at getting a budget planning tool – you can use the information you gathered from your spending spreadsheet to work out an accurate budget moving forward. It is important that you do this in a liveable way, so be realistic in your expectations, especially if you have never budgeted before in the way.
A Cashback Website
If you do lots of shopping online then looking at getting cashback on as many of these spends as possible is essential. Cashback websites aren’t going to make you money as such, but it does mean that what you spend online can be less. You get cashback on lots of transactions via places such as *TopCashback and Quidco, so getting into the habit of using these can really help.
Trying to Side Hustle
If you want to transform your finances by having a little extra to spend, then looking to some side hustle ways to make money outside your working or home life can be great. Survey websites can be a great way to make money long term. It is worth keeping an eye on what offers are out there – FreeTrade to earn a free share for example is a great way to make a little bit of money as a one-off.
Auto Saving Tools
Saving a little money here and there when you don’t have to be involved in money the money to savings account really helps too. Your bank might offer a round-up service when they round up every transaction you do and put the pennies in a savings account; you rarely miss the few pennies that they squirrel away for you but it soon adds up. Otherwise, apps like Plum and Chip can transfer money from your account to their app, for you to save up, move to another bank account or invest as you see fit.
Transforming your finances may not be an overnight process, but small changes can make a big difference and the sooner you start the sooner you’ll notice the difference.