If you’ve spent a little time lately looking at your bank account and being quite frankly astonished at how much you’ve spent without quite realizing it, it could be time to start changing your life a little and cutting down on your outgoings. Here are some tips to make sure that your household budget stays manageable and that you make your life a little bit more money marvelous!
Stick To A Budget
First of all, if you don’t have a household budget already, now is the time to change that! Open up Microsoft Excel and start making a table detailing all your outgoings – make sure that you include absolutely everything, from that daily Starbucks that somehow adds up to an extortionate amount by the end of the month, to the amount of money that you accidentally on purpose spend on trashy paperback novels every time you go to the grocery store. Figuring out what exactly your outgoings are compared to your incomings might be a bit of a shock to you – but it will also inspire you to make a few changes.
Consider What You Could Invest In
One good way to make some money is to invest what you already have. If you have a nest egg in the bank gathering dust and the tiniest amount of interest, it could be time to make some changes. Property is probably the most tried and tested way to make some money through investment – it’s an extremely safe way to invest and it also doesn’t require you to have an in depth knowledge of the stock market, which is always an advantage! Look online at houses to rent to figure out what’s already on the market. You might also want to decide what sort of property you want to invest in – some people might go for young commuters, which means a property near a good train station, whereas others might go for young families, who’ll probably stay in the property for a good amount of time and take care of it – but who will also require nearby amenities like a good grocery store and elementary schools.
Look Out For Deals
When you’re out shopping, make sure that you look out for deals. Of course, you need to remember that the deals are there to try to sell more to you – they’re not there out of the goodness of the brand’s heart because let’s face it, the hearts of most commercial companies are pretty steely. That means that you don’t need to take advantage of every deal out there. Buying two of your favorite shampoos for the price of one is a great idea, but coming home with an entire box of bottles of sauce that you may or may not like because one of them was free isn’t such a good idea. Keep an eye out online and in magazines and newspapers for coupons you can use to get money off your favorite products.
Cut Down On Non Essentials
If there’s anything in your life that you can easily cut out, now is the time to do it. If you have a gym membership that’s currently gathering dust, then it’s time to gather that Chandler Bing mantra to your chest, burst through the doors of your gym and say, firmly, “I wanna quit the gym!”. Just make sure you don’t get distracted by any cute employees like Chandler did. There are plenty of ways to get fit that don’t involve paying extortionate gym membership fees – try Yoga With Adriene to stay limber, along with Couch To 5K for a little cardio exercise.
Get Eco Friendly
One way that you can save money at home is by getting a little more eco friendly. Environmentally friendly light bulbs use a lot less energy, meaning that they’ll lower your bill, and they don’t have to be replaced nearly as often. Open your curtains instead of turning on the lights – this will provide natural heat and light – and add rugs to your bare floors to keep them cozy.
Negotiate With Your Boss
Let’s face it: you probably aren’t getting paid as much as you should be, particularly if you’re a woman. It’s important that you know your own worth. Next time you have a positive review with your boss, make sure that you talk to them about your salary and ask for a raise, particularly if you’ve been putting in plenty of time and effort. Impostor’s Syndrome – feeling as though you aren’t good enough at your job and one day someone’s going to catch you out – is very common among intelligent, high-achieving women – so try your absolute best to ditch that feeling and recognize that your efforts are valuable and deserve to be compensated fairly.
It’s time to get out of your car and start walking. If you live in a city, then you need to consider very carefully whether you need a car at all. Public transport can often be quicker and more convenient, particularly if you work in the middle of a city and you need to pay out huge sums of money for parking, after circling the same blocks for what feels like hours to find a space. Not only will it be better for the environment if you take the train, metro or bus instead, but it will also mean you can get lost in a good book on your way to work and really relax – and you’ll save plenty of money on gas!
Go Out Less
No one’s saying that you should have less fun – but if you spend a lot of your time going out for dinner and at bars, then it could be time to change the way that you socialise. Try going for brunch or lunch with your friends instead of to bars – you’ll be a lot less tempted to clean out your bank account in the process of buying cocktails for everyone there. Invite your friends over for a girls’ night in instead – watch a movie, break out some face masks or even make your own, and catch up over some hot chocolate, homemade treats and popcorn – and of course, some wine. You definitely need to treat yourself sometimes!