Useful Advice On Effective Budgeting

budgeting advice

There are not many people in the current economy who aren’t having to make a few changes in their financial lives. All of us are having to draw in out horns whilst things remain precarious and uncertain. Prices at the petrol pump are up, our shopping costs more and our wages have gone down. Worst still, many people have lost their jobs. As a result of all this, we are all having to learn some hard realities about living on a budget which might have been forgotten over the last few years when times were good and credit was flowing freely. A well planned and implemented budget can make a massive difference to the family purse – often the difference between going under and staying afloat so it is important to put in place. This article will look at some crucial elements of a good budget:

(1) Ditch Those Credit Cards – Credit cards are the mortal enemies of an effective budget and are the biggest cause of debts across the world today. Easy credit is the simplest and fastest route to debt and to losing a grip on your finances and there is no easier credit than on a credit card. All it takes is to go for a meal or have a browse in a clothes shop and a moment of weakness. That impulse purchase on the credit card could throw your budget completely and could lead to more and more of the same. Best to avoid temptation completely and leave the credit cards at the back of a drawer at home for emergencies.

(2) Cash Only Please – The very best way to stick to a budget is to deal solely in cash. If you allocate yourself a certain amount for food shopping each week and a certain amount for going out and you only take that amount with you then there is no way you can go above your budget. If you don’t have the ability to resist temptation then take away the possibility of it happening.

(3) No Logo – If you stick to this principle when doing both food and clothes shopping you will save yourself a small fortune. It doesn’t have to be a permanent policy, just something you do while you’re on a budget. Find out which food shops do good quality own label products and buy them instead of branded goods. Similarly, if you need a new t-shirt or pair of jeans, these days you will be able to find non-branded items with exactly the same cut as the branded goods, made from the same materials but at about a quarter of the price. If you’re on a budget there’s no point in paying extra for the label.

(4) Be Realistic With Your Budget – There’s no point in setting yourself a budget that changes your life completely and expects you to live like a monk all of a sudden. You won’t stick to it and you will feel bad when you fail. If your job requires a lot of travel then clearly you can’t cut down the costs of travel. If you work in fashion then you probably can’t come to the office in cheap non-label goods. And if you live for going out then you are not going to be able to cut it out completely. Try instead to make small changes – eat at home more often before going out, buy two or three less items of clothing each month, order cheaper drinks at the bar. All these small changes should make little difference to your life but will soon add up to big savings.

(5) Get Help - Don’t be afraid to tell your family and friends what you are doing so they can help with it. Chances are they might like the opportunity to make some cut backs to! If you share a flat you might be able to make savings on your groceries by sharing meals more often. If you tell your friends you’re cutting back on how often you go out they might all be willing to have an extra night here or there at each other’s houses. And if you get the whole family to help with the budgeting then your household bills will almost certainly go down.

Author Bio

Esther is a financial journalist and business blogger based in Chicago. She writes about all areas of business and personal finance affecting the consumer from credit and store cards to tax relief and from consumer rights to receivables finance.

2 Responses to Useful Advice On Effective Budgeting

  1. krantcents says:

    When I was growing up, there were no visible logos! It was considered bragging for rich people to talk about their expensive clothes. Funny, how we changed!

  2. Tiffany Brock says:

    And use discount codes whereever you find them :) Some people even write advice on that.

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