This is a collaborative post
Is it just me whose thoughts are zoning in on their household budget at the moment? This is the time of year when I always look to make changes and improvements. This is our super expensive time of year, as most of our family birthdays fall in autumn and winter and then of course there is Christmas on the horizon. Apologies if you don’t want to hear that word yet! I just know that it’s looming and I tend to start shopping and planning for it next month so my budgeting ways do kick up a gear around about now. With this in mind, today I am sharing with you 4 tips to help your household budget.
Create a household budget and monitor it
This one seems so obvious, doesn’t it? Yet this is all too often the one that trips me up.
Start off by drawing up a budget. Work out all that you expect to have coming in and then deduct all of your household bills. Take a look at what you are left with and work out what you can reasonably afford to spend and save each month.
It might be worth getting a budgeting app to help you to keep track of everything, or you could write every single expenditure down. The act of writing them down, or inputting them on an app, will give you pause to think about your spending as well as monitoring it.
Look to cut back on ‘the little things’
It goes without saying that the first thing to do is try to save money on all of your usual bills and utilities. Switch providers where you need to and look into better mortgage and finance deals where possible, improving your credit score if need be.
You can then look at those things you spend on each month without really thinking about it – can you cut back on any of these things?
After you have done that, think about ‘how much’ you need something. For example, yes, you need your heating on but could it be at one degree lower? Yes, you need to turn your lights on, but could you turn any off that are on in unoccupied rooms? These are simple quick wins that will reduce your bills and will add up over time.
Choose your insurance with care
OK, first up, I suppose the point to make is to ensure that you do have insurance in place to cover you in the event of things going wrong. It can be an easy mistake to cancel policies in a bid to save money, and then come unstuck when you are faced with a huge bill for something that insurance would have covered.
It is then worth carrying out a few comparisons to find the best insurance for you, for whatever the reason. The temptation here is to go for the cheapest option because you are looking at reducing outgoings but be careful as this could end up being false economy.
Unfortunately, poorly bought insurances can sometimes result in out of pocket expenses, so do remember that as with all things, you get what you pay for with insurance. If you are using comparison sites, you could try Compare By Review as this returns results based on people’s reviews and experiences using these insurance providers, not just price. You can then make a balanced and informed decision on the policy and provider that is right for you.
Be realistic with your budget
This one is probably the most important tip of all. Be realistic.
This year especially is likely to be tough year for many. It is impossible to predict when the economy and job market will pick up again. As such, it makes sense to make provisions where you can for any unforeseen circumstances – and if 2020 has taught us anything, it is that the unforeseen really can be crazy!
It is sensible to follow those tips above and pull back on any spending, and be careful over the holiday season. It is tempting to splurge, but without knowing what is around the corner, this might be the time to cut down on those gift budgets, look for innovative ways to make the season fun and get some strong financial best practices in place.
What tips to help your household budget would you add?
Disclosure: This is a collaborative post