The rising cost of living, especially in petrol and electricity prices is making it quite impossible for many people to keep up, financially. Here are five ways to adjust your budget
Have a budget and stick to it
It does not matter how much you earn, you should have a budget in place to manage your expenses. A budget will help you monitor how your money is being spent and areas that may require some adjustments. This may be a good time to examine how much you spend on non-essential items, such as entertainment with the intent of reducing expenditure on non-essential or luxury items. It is important to be cognisant of ‘needs’ versus ‘wants’ when allocating expenses. For example, you need transport when travelling to and from work daily so spending on transport is inevitable. Whereas if you are spending too much on entertainment such as movies and dining out, which is a ‘want’, you may have to relook this to ensure you are able to allocate funds to important expenses and still meet your financial goals.
Consider a lift club
It may be worth considering a lift club to lessen the blow of the petrol price increase in your pocket. If there’s a colleague who drives in the same direction towards your place of work, perhaps suggest travelling together in one car. If you remain consistent with this, over time you will notice you are spending less on transport as compared to when travelling alone.
Manage your electricity usage
While the cost of electricity will go up quite significantly, households can manage what they pay by using electricity sparingly. If you have electrical appliances that typically consume a lot of power rather switch them off. For example, when you are at work during the day the geyser can be kept off to limit power consumption, the less power you use the less you pay. Another way of managing the consumption is by switching off plug points when appliances such as a TV or microwave are not in active use.
Make sure to pay your pay off outstanding debt as soon as possible. Often in difficult times, we neglect payment on outstanding loans or store accounts. However, the long-term implications of this can be catastrophic for consumers and resulting in long term financial distress. The sooner you can reduce debt, you are able to redirect those funds to savings.
Make room for savings
As costs escalate it will be more challenging to save, however, it’s important to always put something aside. Remember that it’s not how much you put away, it’s the principle of saving consistently that matters the most. You can also create savings by shopping more economically. For example, buying bulk or shopping around for the cheapest price. Any reduction in spending is also saving.
What other ways are you saving your money? Please share in the comments below