Get a Handle on Household Budgeting
Choosing to work from home for most of us means having to look more closely at our household budget and in the short term, most of us need to make cut backs. Becoming smart when it comes to spending and allocating funds may not be fun but it is essential to ensure you can wade through more financially difficult periods. Below we’ve got some top tips for managing your household budget.
Stick to Lists
A large proportion of your household budget will go on food shopping and therefore it’s integral you exert some self-control. This means writing a list before you go and sticking to it. This should limit the temptation of the BOGOF deals and you can ensure you take home exactly what you need, no more no less. You could also consider shopping online to avoid the temptation of the shelves.
Take a Step Down
Market research from him! found that 22% of shoppers were planning to buy more own brand food in 2013. There is no follow up evidence as yet but taking this as a precedent, why not consider taking a step down from your chosen branded products and try a supermarket’s own. You’ll save cash and may find a product’s quality isn’t that different after all.
Some products should be bought in bulk. Household items such as toilet roll and cleaning materials are regularly on offer and you can benefit by ensuring you have these things always available at home. You’ll save money on petrol too, with less need to travel to and from the supermarket.
Keep a Record
Keeping a record of your budget makes it much harder to go off course. You can use a simple spreadsheet, write it out by hand or use one of the innovative template programmes developed by MoneySavingExpert or the Citizen’s Advice Bureau. Keep all receipts when you make purchases to ensure you’re 100% honest when inputting figures into your budget. When it’s all out in front of you and black and white you’ll see new places you can make savings too.
Don’t forget Emergencies
Planning for emergencies might seem like a waste of money, especially when you may have things you really want to spend it on. However, it’s recommended you save at least 5% of your budget for emergencies. You can’t plan exactly for emergency expenses but you can keep a pot ready if the worst were to happen. You never know when the car may break down. Having an amount set aside means you won’t be uncomfortably put out when an emergency does occur.
The most important tip here is to record your budget carefully and completely. It’s the only place to begin so you can understand where all your income is going and how you can work on it and make it last longer.