(This is a guest post by Ryan Del Villar. Ryan is a content strategist for MoneyHero. He is also a freelance writer who specializes in Online Reputation Management)
We’re all guilty of overspending or going over our budget every now and then, especially in situations such as when we’ve just received our paycheck, there’s a big sale at the mall, or we simply can’t resist a good bargain. If you always find yourself broke before the end of the month due to your wayward spending habits, the following money saving tips might be able to help you stretch your budget:
Share your dilemma with a friend.
The first step towards reform is to admit that you’ve a problem. Actually voicing it out is a good first step toward realizing your wish to modify your spending habits. If you know that you won’t be able to make a change on your own, letting others—a friend, a spouse, or anyone who cares about your financial welfare—in on your goals to save more will probably reinforce your resolution and push you to work harder on your goals.
A confidant may also help ease all the stress and anxiety you’re feeling. Talk to someone whom you know can offer words of advice and support as you try to cope with your money problems. Another good idea is to seek the help of a non-profit organization regarding your financial situation. They can give you expert advice on how you can manage your money better.
Make gradual changes.
If you really intend to save, don’t hesitate to make even the slightest lifestyle modifications. Start with small things, such as walking or riding a bike instead of driving, bringing packed lunches to work, decreasing instances of dining out, using discount coupons and vouchers, and cancelling magazine subscriptions or gym memberships that are not used, among others.
Track all your spending.
It’s easy to declare that you’ll start saving more money and avoid overspending, but actual implementation is not so easy and might take a little time. To motivate yourself, note down every purchase you make—no matter how small. You can use a notepad or download free mobile apps for keeping a record of all your spending. Proper tracking can guide you in creating a realistic budget and help you see areas where you tend to overspend.
Talk to your loan provider.
If you’re having a problem paying off your debts, it’s best to talk to your loan provider or lender to explain the situation. State the reason why you can’t make the repayments required. Your bank may be willing to make a special arrangement to make it easier for you to pay; just as long as you let them know before you incur further penalties and high interest rate charges.
Refrain from using your debit and credit cards.
As much as possible, minimize using credit and debit cards in your daily transactions. Budgeting and making payments using cash may be an easier way to track your spending. Nowadays, you can easily compare credit cards online. Because of this, people tend to be tempted with the idea of using credit cards than actual cash. Of course, using credit card is good as long as we do it in moderation. Taking trips to the ATM may seem like more trouble than it’s worth, but if using your cards has so far given you nothing but heartaches, this is one strategy you can definitely apply.
Pay your bills on time.
Always prioritize your monthly utility bills: gas, electricity, water, mortgage payments, rent dues, internet subscription fees, telephone bills, credit cards, and other necessary bills. Paying these should be a top priority as failure to do so can result in grave consequences.
Remember these money saving tips and try to apply as many—if not all—of them in your everyday living. With discipline and strict compliance, as well as the support of family or friends, you will start noticing a big difference in your personal finance. Keep at it and in a few years’ time, you will begin to reap the rewards of having financial freedom.