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Smart Ways to Make Positive Changes in Your Budget

Looking to be a bit more sensible with your finances? Maybe you’re fed up of running out of money mid month- or perhaps you have a new savings goal that you want to reach. You might want to get out of debt, or even just feel more organised. Whatever your motives are, being organised with money is no bad thing- here are some smart ways you can go about making changes. 

Smart Ways to Make Positive Changes in Your Budget - in control of your finance image

Switch bill providers

The companies that you pay your bills to are highly competitive, meaning a little shopping around will snag you the best rates. Every year, run some quotes through price comparison sites, and switch to the company which will provide you with the best rates and overall price- it makes no sense to be loyal to the company you’re with as they make their money from their long term customers. While you’re always going to have to pay for things like electricity, broadband and insurances, you shouldn’t be paying over the odds. A few hours just once a year searching for the best providers can save you a decent amount of money overall. 

Meal plan

Food is one area that just about all of us tend to overspend on. We all need to eat, and so it’s something that everyone should be more organised in, once a week, write up a menu for the next few days and then shop to that list. When you get home from work you know what you’re having and always have the ingredients on hand to make it. You don’t end up buying what you don’t need at the supermarket and you reduce your food waste too. Go on sites like Pinterest and write a list of all of the meals you enjoy eating or want to try. Then when you’re building your menu each week, you can pick meals off the list rather than having to think off the top of your head (which can be harder than it sounds!)

Set a budget for extra or luxury spends

We all enjoy our little luxuries- when you work hard it’s these fun extras that make it all seem worth it. Maybe you enjoy going out for meals in nice restaurants, perhaps clothes are your thing or you might just enjoy a night at home every now and again with a glass of wine, a takeaway and a few dollars to flutter at a slots casino. We all have our little enjoyment and luxuries and it’s nice to have them, but just make sure you’re budgeting for them. Your bills, food, travel and other important expenses should be paid first on payday. It’s only then should you treat yourself to any extras, using money that’s leftover. It can be helpful to have a cap or limit on your treat spends, that way you don’t go overboard and can save anything you have afterwards and put it in a savings account. 

Set up extra sources of income

Even if you already have a full time job, it’s a smart move to set up additional streams of income. Blogging, freelancing, even a home business can generate extra cash- this can make your life easier financially, help towards your savings goals or contribute to paying off your debts depending on your situation. If you ever lose your job then you have at least a little something to fall back on while you look for something new, and it generally provides you with a bit more financial security. 

Sell what you no longer use

Most of us have new things coming into our home all the time, so decluttering needs to be an ongoing process. Not only is this good on a practical level (we can sell what we no longer use to raise money and make space for the things we do) but it’s also great for mental health and wellbeing. Being surrounded by clutter, mess and having a house packed to the rafters can create feelings of stress and unease- research even shows that a messy bedroom can cause sleep problems. Go through your cupboards, drawers, wardrobes and other areas of your life and sell anything that’s still good but that you don’t use any more. Put this money into a savings account or spend it on debt- either is a much better use than having it tied up in items that are simply sitting there collecting dust. 

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