These simple budgeting tips will make your money go further – without you having to give up on the good stuff. #moneygoals
Put aside 50% of your income for essentials
Every time you get paid, put half of it aside straight away! Better even, put it into another bank account. Essentials are your big predictable monthly bills such as mortgage, rent, transport, gas, electricity, mobile, digital TV and council tax. It's also worth including essential groceries like milk, vegetables, pasta, fruit, shower gel etc. But not expensive ready meals or those posh crisps you might be tempted to try.
Track what you're spending
This is the tedious part, but like going to the dentist, you’ll feel so much better once you’ve done it. For the first month write down everything you spend, from the weekly food shop or buying a lottery ticket to grabbing a packet of crisps on your way home from work. Keep it simple by writing everything you spend in a document on your phone or use an app to keep track.
Make your money goals a priority
Set your goals - whether that's saving for a house, having more spare cash for family holidays or paying off your overdraft. Pick a goal that's most important to you and be confident that you're making it happen.
Use an app to do the work for you
Budgeting pros swear by the new breed of apps, which will do the complicated bits for you. Moneydashboard (free) helps you to see where your money is going through easy to follow visuals, Youneedabudget (34-day free trial) lets you plan your spending by balancing your income and outgoings to show you where you can save and Wally allows you to set and achieve financial goals by monitoring your expenses.
Keep it real
It's important to be honest with yourself about what you can afford. This will help you feel proud about sticking to your budget. On a night out, decide what you’re going to spend and stick to it. No exceptions, stay strong! After all, the next morning you won't appreciate last night's £6 kebab any more than if you'd just rustled up some beans on toast when you got home.