As a man who was notoriously bad with money having a daughter has made me value each penny a lot more. Gone are the days where I could blow a month’s wage in a week and live on bread for the rest of the month, and now I’m financially responsible for a family of 3!
Whilst it’s the greatest honour in the World to live with my beautiful family it does mean that we can be on quite a stringent budget at times. When you just fancy a takeaway but can’t get one does mean that you can be sat in with a bowl of pasta looking at a TV screen depressed (although probably healthier…)
The point is money can be what you make it. Something I’ve learnt (the hard way unfortunately) is that you need to work out what you can spend.
This means when you’re paid, work out what your outgoings are before you spend a single penny!
My top tips are;
- After you’ve worked out all outgoings use division by day
- Money available after outgoings divided by how many days there are until your next pay day
- You’ll be able to see realistically what you should be spending
- If you need to spend more than your daily budget work out a ‘borrowing’ system from your other days
- Document everything you spend
- I was spending £1 a morning on fresh orange juice at work
- Over the course of the month this added up to £20-£25 a month
- That’s a lot of money on something I know that if I got myself and just popped in the fridge would cost me about £4 max
- Being frugal can sometimes just mean
- I was recently quoted in an article by Heavenly Accounting here about Avoiding Debt, it’s a lot easier to get into than it is to get out of. It’s never great when you feel like you’ve got a couple of days until payday. People like Wonga buy into people’s fear and instead of helping people get out of in what many cases is manageable debt into real escalating trouble due to high interest rates.
- Stick to money and don’t rely on your card – visually you can see money dwindling and the reliance upon a credit/debit card can mean it’s a lot harder to keep an eye on your finances.
I’m no saint and it’s been a steep learning curve and I’m still trying to budget. I’ve swapped Sainsbury’s for Netto (well, most of the time), started teaching myself to cook (which is its own reward) and looking at where I could cut costs. Looking at something and thinking, do I really need this? Will I still think I needed this in a week? These are the questions you should ask before you part with your cash.
Also, haggle. Haggle loads.