When it comes to saving money, there is one word that pops into most people’s head ‘budget’. The word alone is enough to send a high percentage of people running for the hills, and with them, any hope of actually saving some money.
To accommodate those people that are in need of a bit of help with financial planning, but who can’t stand the constraints and all-round inflexibility of a budget, there’s a whole new concept drifting around – the spending plan.
A spending plan throws all negative connotations of a budget out the window. Unlike a budget, it caters to when things go a bit off track and when expenditures that you can’t avoid or can’t resist come popping up. Be it a shopping trip in the midst of the sales or a blown wheel on your car, with a spending plan, you regain that much needed flexibility in your financial planning.
While a spending plan might be flexible and accommodating, the literature on it is pretty comprehensive and quite rigid. However, if you just want a safe introduction to spending plans, and the ultimate money strategy, then our top tips are on hand to help.
Here are five of the tips you need, to conquer 2018’s ultimate money strategy:
1.) Plan for What You Love
We all have different vices, be it clothes, gadgets, or meals out. A spending plan focuses on what you love doing, so you can better reflect it in your overall money strategy. After all, going cold turkey on your favorite vice is no way to start financial planning on the best footing…
With a spending plan, you plan for what you want and ditch what you don’t. This means that you can spend more on what you enjoy, spend less on what you don’t (perhaps a hobby that you’ve stopped enjoying), and save more overall.
2.) List it Once and List it Again
With a spending plan, lists are going to be your best friend, and checking them is something that you’ll have to get used to quickly. Having lists that state why you’re saving money will give you that extra push of motivation when financial distractions start to crop up.
Separating your lists into short-term and long-term goals will help to give you better clarity over what you’re saving for and why it’s so important. This can develop an achievement and rewards system. When you save a particular amount of money, enjoy a reward from your short-term list and keep striving towards the long-term list.
3.) Don’t Fall into a Pattern
Getting into a bad financial position or finding yourself unable to save for the things you want, can very often be the result of following set patterns of behavior. A lot of people learn all about finances from an early age and follow the same patterns as their parents in later life.
Understanding why you’re spending and why you beat yourself up for buying certain things, can help to curve bad patterns once and for all.
4.) Change and Adjust
No longer enjoying the hobby or activity that you put extra money aside to partake in? Change it! The beauty of a spending plan is that you’re not tied down, in fact, when you feel like a change, the best thing you can normally do is to go for it.
Instead of feeling bad about bad expenditures, learn from them, adjust your spending, and move on from the experience.
5.) Don’t Avoid the Math
A good spending plan starts with fixed costs and grows from there. Ignoring the expenses that you must pay, like bills, rent, and insurance, will only lead to trouble in the long-run. The best thing you can do for a great spending plan is to do the math, put your fixed expenditures aside, and work your way outwards from there.
Worried about how much you’re spending, and want to make sure that the top priorities, like insurance, are costing you as little as possible? Get into contact with us today.