Finances – expectations vs reality

‘When I was a child, I spoke like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I gave up childish ways.’ – Corinthians 13:11

As we get older our ideals, dreams and ambitions change as reality sets in and we become focussed on paying bills, supporting our family and simply surviving in a harsh economy. Our dreams take a back seat. That doesn’t always need to be the case, with some careful planning and budgeting you could free up some extra cash to follow a dream. Maybe it’s a holiday to an amazing destination or fixing up an old classic car, whatever your dream is, these tips will help you get there.

  1. Create a budgeting sheet. Google have a great free one to use https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1Ch4Uj25jLHg8YUjx_hGxGOgbwBxi6RN-p_2G1798Ll4/edit A popular way of budgeting is the 50-20-30 rule:
    50%of your income on living costs and essentials
    20% of your income on savings
    30% of your income on spending, including mobile phone bills and gym membership
  2. Once you can see where your money is going, as scary as it may seem at the time, it will help you see where the potential to save money is.
  3. Utilities – shop around for the best deal. Use sites such as confused.com and www.moneysupermarket.com to help you.
  4. Food – make a list and stick to it. Opt for stores own brands which are very often the exact same product as a known brand just packaged differently. Plan your meals ahead so you have exactly what you need. Net Mums have great tips on buying food on a budget https://www.netmums.com/life/ideas-for-frugal-living
  5. Mobile Phone/Internet/TV etc. If you are out of contract or close to the end, shop around for a better deal. Go back to your existing provider with quotes, chances are they will match your deals rather than lose you as a customer.
  6. Bills – If you are struggling to pay your bills then get in touch with the company you owe and sort out a payment plan with them. They are happy to help if you are feeling the pinch in your finances and would rather you pay something than nothing at all.
  7. Use a broker to find you the best deals around. A broker has access to a whole host of companies and will save you a lot of time in the long run.
  8. If you are a business owner, speak to your Accountant. They will be able to sit down with you and discuss a budgeting plan. They will look at your income and expenditure and will be able to offer you the very best advice.
  9. Shop on the internet for clothing and electrical goods. Be a savvy shopper and do your research. Many products will be on sale on one website and not on another. Shop around for discount codes too. https://www.vouchercodes.co.uk Consider buying second hand. Quite often you can find what you are looking for that has been barely used or even brand new, for a fraction of the RRP. Try Facebook Market Place or Shpock.
  10. Enjoy spending the money that you save on recapturing your dreams, whatever they may be.

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