Now, I come from a family that aren’t all that great with money, and I definitely have my moments when I’m a bit “Buy all the things!”. But, for the most part, I’ve been taught not to lead by some members of my family’s example and I’m now pretty good with money. I was able to pay off my overdraft (which had gotten quite large during uni), credit card and put down a large deposit on a car within a year of working full time. I have the advantage that I live at home, and pay board, but it’s probably no where near what I would pay to have my own home and pay bills. However, I’ve developed a few skills with money that I think have definitely come in handy, so I thought I’d share them with you all.
This one is almost certainly a no-brainer, but it can be difficult to do. I find it’s useful to have a programme or app to plot out your money. I use Microsoft Money (a really old version that asks me to back up my file onto a floppy disk when I close the programme) and it’s helped me a lot. You can enter in your income, bills and whatnot, and it projects your cash flow. It allows you to do this for multiple accounts and you can look at the joint cash flow, too. It comes in a handy little graph that helps me as I need to see things visually as numbers on a page/screen aren’t helpful! You can also add in your projected budgets if you like to see how your money will pan out if you spend that much every month. There’s a newer version of Microsoft Money that I believe is free and looks pretty similar to the one I have, if you want to check it out!
Put Money Aside
This helped me massively in terms of buying my car. At the start of every month, I put £250 in my savings. I tried doing it at the end of the month, but then I just spend it before I got to the end. If it’s put away in my ISA, I don’t touch it and I know I can’t spend outside what I have left for the month. Whereas at the end, I was always putting away less as I wanted a new lipstick or a new dress.
Don’t But Things You Can’t Afford!
This may be another obvious one, but I got in a bit of financial pickle when I had a large overdraft that I was always in and a credit card. I learnt from my mistake and my Mum’s advice to only borrow to (maybe) buy a car or a house. Everything else can wait, and will be so much better when you’ve saved and worked towards it, rather than getting credit! If you’re in credit now, instead of the previous bit of advice, try paying a chunk of it off every month. Hopefully it’ll be all paid off reasonably quickly and it’ll feel like a weight have been lifted off your shoulders (I know it was for me)!
Have Something to Save For!
This is something I’m struggling with at the moment. I don’t have anything in mind specifically that I’m saving for, so at the minute, it’s just a rainy day fund or a fund for the ‘future’. It’s been difficult not to want to take money out of it, but it was a lot easier when I was saving for my car. Without something to focus on, it can take a lot of self control to save, but I tell myself I’ll be thankful when a big bill pops up out of the blue, or I decide to go back to Uni and I have money saved!
Wait to Buy
I’m sure this is not just a beauty blogger thing, but if I see a positive review on something, I immediately want it. Do I have 5 lipsticks in a similar shade already? Of course, and probably more than that! It can be hard to ignore the urge to buy it, but I give myself a little breathing period if I want something badly and within a few days, I don’t probably want it anymore. If I do and I can afford it, I buy it. I found this has saved me a lot of money, and my self control has gotten a lot better.
Saving money is a bit like a diet, if you don’t allow yourself the occasional treat, you end up eating loads all at once and regretting it. If you buy yourself the occasional little treat, or go out with your friends for a night out, you’ll probably end up spend less in the long run.
That’s it for my money advice. I hope you found these tips useful!
What is your best money advice?
Thanks for reading!