Budgeting might not sound like a fun task, but it’s extremely important in making sure you are financially safe for the summer. The summer season is one of the most enjoyable of the year, but you need to make sure you’re not overindulging in your bank account. With busy social calendars, events, and maybe even a luxury holiday, you’re likely to have a lot of outgoings throughout the coming months.
Here are some tips to help maximise your budget for Summer 2019, so you can get the most out of the weather – as well as your money.
Set financial goals
The first step in creating an effective budget plan is to know how much you need to save. For example, if you earn a net £1,500 per month and you know you need to save approximately £1,000 for a holiday in five months, you’ll need to put £200 to the side each month. That’s on top of your outgoings, commitments, and bills. After all, when planning for large expenditures, you also need to avoid falling into debt.
Always align your financial goals with your financial reality, so you can budget effectively without putting extra strain on the household. One way of achieving financial goals is manually transferring your designated amount to a savings account each payday, setting up a direct debit to your savings account, or even creating a personal spreadsheet.
Create a personal budget spreadsheet
Creating a personal budget spreadsheet could be invaluable for managing your money. Start by calculating the total cost of all your outgoings, including bills, food allowance, and any money that is being used to pay of existing debts. Subtract this from your total salary for the month and divide by four (if, of course, you are paid monthly.) This will give you a weekly allowance.
From there, you can decide how much you can feasibly put into savings, or towards your holiday, or to the side for that barbeque you might have planned in a few weeks. Laying out a clear budgeting plan can help to reduce high stress levels or anxiety levels that are so often associated with money worries.
Overestimate your monthly costs
Knowing how much disposable include you have is important – but so is overestimating your monthly costs. Realistically, budget plans are not the be all and end all as life itself isn’t consistent. For example, your washing machine might break or you might need to repair the car. These situations are often outside of your control and cannot be predicted. Overestimating your budget allows you to have the financial flexibility to meet unexpected needs. It will reduce how much allowance you have to spend, but having less money is better than having no money. An apt quote to summarise this point would be: “expect the unexpected and you’ll never be surprised”.
Look for better interest rates
Budgeting doesn’t need to be centered on you figuring out your monthly outgoings and disposable income. It could also entail making broader financial decisions. For instance, your current savings account might have not the best interest rate available to you. In this case you could shop around to find a better alternative that offers greater interest rates on your savings. This money can then be used to reinvest into your holiday and give you more flexibility when it comes to budgeting.
Another alternative might be to find offers from different providers. Some providers might offer you a free £100 for switching to them. If the bank offering free £100 is better overall in terms of services, rates, and products, then it could be a wise decision to switch because you could reap more benefits.
Do you really need that luxury item?
This final tip to help aid you with your summer budgeting endeavors can be taken as firmly or as loosely as you want. Luxury items afford us rare moments of bliss and instant gratification, but often the costs will mount up over time. Cutting the odd luxury expense out can help you save a little bit of money every now and again, which in turn benefits your budgeting plan. This point is more about self-reflection and weighing up the options: on the one hand luxury items are expensive, but if it falls within your monthly spending allowance then it is up to you whether you buy it or not. Whenever considering a luxury purchase, take a moment to ask yourself ‘do I really need this luxury item?’ and go from there.
Now that you’re armed with information on how to budget ahead of the summer, go ahead and enjoy yourself! We hope it brings great weather and even greater wealth.