Most finance bloggers will agree that tracking your spending and creating a budget are all good ideas to help improve your finances. But if you’ve never created one it can be hard to find the motivation and many people are unsure if it will actually do anything for them.
To help encourage you to get started here are 3 ways that creating a budget helped keep more cash in my wallet.
1 – I noticed I was spending much more than I thought on fast food
Eating out for lunch and getting fish and chips after work seem like little luxuries that wont dent your bank balance. But when I first started tracking my spending to create a suitable budget I found out I was spending approximately £150 a month on fast food! if you had asked me to guess how much I thought I was spending I would have said around £50. It is very tricky to keep track of little expenses like this throughout the month. Once I knew this I had all the motivation I needed to make a packed lunch at time before work. I still ate out every now and then but much less. This saved me about £100/month
2 – I cancelled subscriptions I no longer needed
Tracking your spending as part of a budget means that every month you notice what reoccurring fees you have. I had 2 internet subscriptions for services which I no longer used. without a budget its easy to forget about these. They got cancelled straight away and saved me about £25/month
3 – It allowed me to pay myself first
Like a lot of people I was paying all my bills first and spending money on hobbies before savings and investments. At the end of the month if I had any cash spare it went into an ISA, however a lot of the time there wasn’t any spare. If I knew I had money in my account I spent it.
Creating a budget let me see how much money I should have spare for savings and put it into the savings account on payday. This stopped me “accidentally” spending it during the month. I estimate this helped me save an extra £100 each month.
Creating my first budget took me about 2 hours work throughout the month and saved me £225. Now that i’ve been doing it for a while it only takes 10 minutes each month and still have the benefits.