- Stop using your debit card for all your purchases. Using cash instead of debit or credit cards has been shown to decrease the amount people spend.1 Physically exchanging money encourages us to be more conscious of our decisions because we can physically see what we have left.
- Go through your debit and credit purchases for the last six months and divide up your transactions into three categories: living expenses (utilities, rent, groceries, etc.), entertainment expenses (restaurant meals, fun activities, music, etc.), and unavoidable expenses (medicine, oil changes, etc.). Reflect on how these three categories can be narrowed down to two: wants and needs. Once you have a better understanding of the purchases you can avoid, you’ll see the areas where you can save more.
- Take note of any subscription-style expenses you have like video streaming, magazines, gym membership, etc. Does your use of the good or service justify the cost? Figure out the cost per unit for how much you use; if you wouldn’t pay that price for it, cancel your contract. Reoccurring costs are too frequently forgotten and can add up to major expenditures over time.
- Unsubscribe from email lists that send you coupons and encourage you to make purchases that you normally wouldn’t make. If you really want to stay subscribed, set up a folder and have the emails drop directly in there so you can access them when you need to. That way they aren’t tempting you every day in your inbox.
Budgeting Strategy #1: 50/30/20Works best for: someone trying to make room in their budget for savings.
- Dining out
- Debt repayment
- Emergency fund
- Retirement fund
- Whether you’re looking to create short-term or long-term budgets, Wally has you covered. Balance your income and expenses and see how they fit into your financial goals.
- When you need to track all of your expenses (especially cash purchases), try OneReciept. Take photos of your receipts and upload them to the app. Once uploaded, you can categorize the purchase and can even export the data to your computer for a more thorough look.
- If you have flatmates or a partner, Splitwise makes tracking shared expenses a breeze. They do the math for you and send friendly email reminders to help keep each bill-payer up-to-date.
- If you struggle to keep track of your bill due dates, try BillMonitor. Push notifications remind you when it’s time to pay and will let you know when the payment clears.
- Paying down credit card debt can be a challenge. Which card do you pay off first? How quickly will you be able to pay it off? Debts Break can help get you started. Input your balances, interest rate and due date and choose the payoff plan that best fits your needs.
- Wouldn’t it be nice if our daily finances were available like a weather forecast every morning? Spend Today — Save Tomorrow predicts your budget for the day, week and month. The forecast tool will let you know if it’s OK to spend or if you should keep your plans low-key for the weekend. It will even show you how your spending today will affect the rest of your week!
- Set up a yearlong savings challenge with 52 Weeks Money Challenge. Create a goal based on what you’re saving for, and the app will tell you how much you need to save per week.
- Budgeting on a trip is just as important as daily budgeting at home. Keep track of your daily expenses when you travel with Daily Spender. The simple interface allows you to specify how much you want to spend on your trip and how it breaks down per day. You can then input the items and see how much you have left at the end of each day
Budgeting Strategy #2: Envelope MethodWorks best for: someone who wants to rein in their casual spending.
- Keep track of your budget wherever you are by using a Google Drive template. Google Drive is a great digital option with tons of budgeting guides available from their template gallery. Choose from family-based budgeting, long-term savings guides, debt repayment and more. You can even download the Google Drive app to check your budget when you’re on the go.
- If you prefer to take your budgeting offline, use an online budgeting calculator to get yourself started and minimise the calculations you have to do. Online calculators help make sure you cover all the basic expenses, including the little ones you might overlook.
- Crafting your first budget can be overwhelming, especially when you are looking at the big picture (retirement savings, paying off a car, etc.). Try a budget system that starts at a monthly or yearly guide, and then take it a step further to a weekly or daily budget. Breaking down your budget into digestible pieces can help you stay focused on achievable goals.
Budgeting Strategy #3: Rounding MethodWorks best for: someone who wants to start saving on a small scale.
A quid here, a quid there:
No change is good change:
The information in this article is provided for education and informational purposes only, without any express or implied warranty of any kind, including warranties of accuracy, completeness or fitness for any particular purpose. The information in this article is not intended to be and does not constitute financial or any other advice. The information in this article is general in nature and is not specific to you the user or anyone else.