This time of year, it’s extremely easy to look at your bank account and to see a figure that’s considerably lower than you thought it would be. During December, everything starts adding up, and you have far more outgoings than at other times of the year. Christmas presents, Christmas food, gas to visit relatives… A lot of families budget carefully for Christmas, but not everyone manages to do so. If your Christmas over-spending is representative of you over-spending through the rest of the year as well, here are some tips to help you become more financially responsible.
Make A Spreadsheet
If you’re very clear with yourself about your incomings and your outgoings, and you write them down in a spreadsheet, you might start to see where you’re going wrong. Maybe you’re buying too much food and throwing a lot of it away, or perhaps you’ve been spending more money than you can afford on clothes. Making a spreadsheet to see what exactly you’re spending money on will help you decide what needs to be cut back.
Stay Within Your Means
Make sure that you set yourself a budget and that you stick to it without spending too much on frivolous things. That might not sound like much fun, but it’s absolutely crucial that you don’t spend more than you earn and that you contribute a small amount to your savings every month that you can dip into if there are any disasters. A car that’s broken down or a boiler that’s gone bust shouldn’t be the things that send you into debt. Make sure that you’ve prepared for a rainy day so that when something bad happens, you’ll know how to deal with it.
Stay On Top Of Your Bills
Pay each bill the day that you get it – no exceptions. This will help you to be and to stay more organised, and it won’t lead to a pile-up of bills at the end of the month that might just push you over the financial edge. If you have taken out a personal loan, make sure that you stay on top of repayments and that you keep to the terms of your loan.
Look Around For Deals
Make sure that you look around for deals at different stores to ensure that you’re not spending more money than you need to. Coupons can be extremely useful, but make sure that you’re not buying food or items that you don’t need just because they’re on sale! In addition, sometimes checking out deals at different stores can become needlessly time consuming. Your time is as important as your money – although it’s important to look around and make sure that you aren’t over-spending, don’t use up all your free time doing so!
Talk To A Professional
At the end of the day, it’s important to talk to someone who understands finances. If you feel shaky or uncertain about it, someone who is paid to understand money will be able to help you get back on your feet if you’re having a hard time.