Published at: 6/21/2016 3:29:35 PM
If it feels like you’re never getting ahead financially, try these three simple budgeting hacks to gain – and maintain – control of your money.
No matter whether you’re a complete beginner or a budgeting boss, take a look at our budget goals to become the master of your money.
1. Tracking your spending
It’s impossible to draw up a realistic budget if you don’t know where your money is going. Sure, you may have a rough idea but an accurate budget pulls no punches.
It all starts with knowing your spending patterns, and for that you need to track your spending for a week, a fortnight or a month. Using an app, budgeting software or an online budget makes it easy. Next, convert the numbers into annual figures. It becomes very clear how small expenses can quickly add up.
2. Balance the books
Now you know your spending, compare what’s going out to what’s coming in - your income. If you’re spending more than you earn chances are you’re constantly strapped for cash or face a growing credit card debt. At least now you can see where the problem lies, and that can be good medicine eve if it tastes bad.
3. Save money on your biggest spending categories
Trawl through the biggest spending categories in your budget – these can offer the best opportunities to save. Set yourself a budget goal to cut spending across at two, maybe three categories – like weekly groceries, transport, hobbies, clothing or entertainment. Review your budget regularly to track your progress – success can be its own reward.
For more fast ideas on budgeting, take a look at ed – ME Bank’s fast, fun and free online school of money. From developing good money habits to growing investments, ed is designed to help you get ahead financially.