Where does all our money go each month?
Do you ever wonder? Do you always wonder?
After spending all the family income on rent or mortgage repayments, fuel, bills and food, we often wonder if gremlins are scarpering off with the remainder.
So how do we better manage the household finances?
Here are the top five secrets from Bad Credit Car Loans Australia to getting on top of your money and even discovering the forgotten “S” word – savings!
1. We aren’t on top of our consumption
The truth is we simply aren’t keeping track of our consumption.
When we’re talking about managing family finances, we need to think of consumption as spending. We may think that buying a bottle of water every few days doesn’t cost much. Buying three £1 bottles of water a week costs £3 per week. That’s £12 a month; that could pay for half your phone bill.
All the little things – extra cups of coffee, eating out, and going to the movies all the time – all add up.
2. You need to set a realistic savings goal
Saving money for the sake of saving money is an admirable goal, but hard to strive for.
Having a concrete goal such as saving up for a family holiday or just having money left over each month to put toward a family activity makes all the sacrifices you’ll make that much easier.
3. Track your expenses
All good businesses need to know how they’re doing not only as a matter of doing business but for accounting purposes. As families, we need to account for all our earning and spending too.
This is easier than ever with a whole range of smartphone apps that help you track your expenses and make sure you’re spending your money within a set budget.
After a few weeks, you’ll get a clear picture of what to cut out so you can strive towards your savings goal.
4. Shop around – for almost everything
Once upon a time, I could remember my mother studying three different catalogues for the local supermarkets to get the absolute best deals on groceries.
Like a good business, you should get more for your money no matter where you spend it. For some items that don’t spoil, such as toilet paper, you should aim to buy in bulk. This applies to your major expenditures too – if you haven’t refinanced your mortgage in a while (or ever) you should consider finding a better deal.
Use comparison websites to find better deals on insurance, utilities, internet service, mobile providers and even retailers.
5. Buy online, sell online
Some people love the retail experience of going in to a place and browsing, but that also means higher prices. Online retailers are, overall, cheaper than their bricks and mortar counterparts.
Some websites offer bulk buys – such as toilet paper, dishwashing liquid and other household items – so you can save even more.
If you have unwanted items such as last generation’s iPhone or clothing you don’t wear, you can always sell them on eBay or Gumtree to make a bit of extra cash. Every little bit helps! You can read our guide to selling on eBay here.