Do you struggle to save? We all like to spend a little and enjoy ourselves every now and then but doing it too often can lead to serious financial difficulty.
According to the Office for National Statistics, Brits have actually been spending less on clothes this year. Although this is due in part to the unseasonably cold weather, it could also be down to people trying to get their finances in a better state of play.
If you are keen to get into shape when it comes to money, here are four easy ways to streamline your splurging.
Track your spending
The first step towards taking control of your money is tracking where it’s going. Keeping a record of all your monthly outgoings will help you to understand which areas you can cut back in, as well as allowing you to spot any quick wins — such as cancelling an unused TV subscription.
Rather than agonising over every single payment, it’s helpful to organise them into categories such as food and drink, entertainment and transport. You could do this yourself or use one of the many free budgeting apps out there to do it for you.
Adjust your lifestyle
Now that you have a better idea of which areas you can make savings in, it’s time to think about how you can change your behaviour. If you’re overspending on food for example, try creating a meal plan so that you don’t throw money away on lunches and only buy in what you need.
If your transport costs are totting up, try dusting off your bike or walking more. If you’re coughing up too much for clothes, give the vintage shops a go and see if you can sell any of your old clothes on online marketplace websites.
Set financial goals
It’s generally easier to save money when you have something in mind to save for. Whether it’s a new car, a weekend away or a birthday present for a loved one, setting short-term financial goals can give you the motivation you need to stick to your savings plan.
If you don’t have anything in mind, you could simply challenge yourself to save a specific amount each month. An example is aiming to cut your monthly food spend down from £200 to £150.
Set up automatic payments
Rather than leaving yourself with a pool of money to spend towards the end of the month, why not put it straight into your savings after you’ve paid your bills and allocated enough for your essentials?
If you know you’re easily tempted into spending, setting up automatic payments into your savings account is an effective way of fighting those urges.
Money is a complex and personal subject, and it’s worth researching your options to see which methods work best for you.