January is a great time to make resolutions. Start the year afresh. January and September are my favourite times of the year to reflect and make plans for the future. 2017 wasn’t the best of years in many ways, but the one thing it did teach me was to budget. My credit rating went up for the first time in years. Just by saving £25.00 a week, I had managed to save £600 for the New Year when my contract had ended and yet there were loads of bills to pay!
2018 Budgeting Resolutions
This year I am going to look at ways to budget and will share this with you all. Please do let me know if you have found ways to budget effectively and what have been your stumbling blocks.
1. Weekly Savings Plan
The best thing I did last year was to set up a savings account and hide the details from myself. Set one up a direct debit to transfer £25.00 into a savings account. Even if you get paid monthly, set it up weekly. By the end of the year you will have saved £1,300! Do not touch it this year. Just leave it.
2. Dry January
There are many benefits to not drinking throughout January. Physically and mentally, you will feel so much better. So will your bank balance! Each time you buy food and add a bottle of cava (in my case), it adds another £5 on to the bill. Even if you only buy one a week, you will be saving £260 a year.
3. Food Budget
Discounts/reductions – many shops will have a discount section. You can pick up some good bargains. Look for what’s selling cheap and plan your meals for the week. Use your loyalty cards and check for what promotions are running.
Shops own brands – many of us have our favourite brands we can’t do without. However, sometimes it pays to buy supermarkets own brands and save a little on every day items.
Bring your own lunch – I am guilty of not planning my lunches and then spending £5 a day on sandwiches/crisps/drinks. Try and get into the habit of taking rolls or the leftovers from the night before. Its amazing how much this can save over the course of the month.
Latte effect – I gave up my morning lattes last year. When you really are up against it, two morning lattes equates to a bottle of cava, which I would treat myself to once a week. Once you start looking at everything in denominations of £5, you can start to evaluate how much things cost and what you would prefer to spend your money on. It won’t be bottles of cava, but you get the gist.
4. New Year Sales
Every year I am too broke to hit the sales and this year is no exception. However, if you feel the need to hit the shops, then do so. However have a cool-off period. If you are anything like me, it will be just an impulse buy to make you instantly feel good. However, unless you really need it. Rather than just want it. Put it back. Step away from the January sales unless you have allocated a budget for it.
5. Invest in YOU
January can be a depressing month. However this is a time to invest time in yourself. Get a new diary. Spend your evenings in enjoying bubbles baths and pampering yourself. I always buy new bedding each year. Nothing beats coming home after a day’s work when it’s miserable outside, to a nice meal, hot bath, then clean bedding. Shaw Academy have been offering free courses recently. If you fancied learning a new skill or developing existing ones, then this is the time to look around.
NEW YEAR. NEW YOU.
Author: Marie Ellis
People say write about what you know. So I did. I founded Broke Girl in the City – a smart girl’s guide to leading a fabulous lifestyle on a budget! A career spanning entertainment, bars & nightclubs (and frequenting them), film, music and TV, there isn’t much I don’t know about how to have fun in the city when completely broke.