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Key Tips To Sticking To A Budget

Key Tips To Sticking To A Budget

Sticking to a budget can be hard and when your a home owner and have bills to pay for you don't really get a choice. I've been living in my own home now for just over a year now and I have found some ways that help me to stick to my budget and not go into my overdraft every month.

  • Meal Plan 
This can be a life safer if you are someone who ends up buying a bunch of food that you don't need. Cal and I like to sit down and plan what we are going to eat for dinner that week for many reasons, one is so we can get what we need on our weekly shop ahead of time and because it gives us something to look forward to. 

  • Stick to your list
I think it should be a known rule never to go food shopping while you are hungry otherwise I come back with 2 cinnamon swirls, 3 different biscuits and a box of microwave chips so stick to the items on your list. You made a list for a reason so only get the food that you need. 

  • Choose food with multiple uses
It's easy to buy food because you like it but it worked for one meal and then its done. I like to make meals which I can freeze for another night or pop in the fridge for my lunch tomorrow. It helps me save money and stops me using everything in my freezer in one go. 

  • Shop Around
Before I moved out I was a self confessed Tesco addict and if I needed anything whether it was food or random bits I would go to Tesco. When we moved out we didn't know how we would find balancing our mortgage, food shopping, petrol and such so we ended up trying the Aldi store which is 10 minutes down the street from our new house. We've found we can get a full weekly shop with meat and chicken and the everyday bits for between £20-£30 which is really good considering how much we bring home so we are official Aldi converts now. I love the chicken and meat from Aldi so if you don't already shop there then you should try it once. I know down the line when we start to have a family it will really help with saving our money. Its easy to stick to a shop that you are familiar with but when you can save all this money you have to give it a go. 

  • Check your online banking daily
It sounds very silly but I am terrible for not checking my online banking for days and it has become Cals job to remind me to pay the bills. By checking it daily you know exactly what bills has already come out and what you still need to pay for, that way if you see something you want for the house you know what money you have left for the month. 

  • Reduce, Reuse and Recycle
Anyone else remember this saying up on every wall in your school? 
It does still apply now in every day life so I have implemented it back into my life. When we first moved in we were still learning a rhythm and we ended up not using fresh food which meant it went off and we had to throw it away, which is such a waste. So when we plan our meals for the week now we also check what we still have in the fridge and freezer and what dates they go off. Then we make sure we use the food before the due date so that we don't waste the food anymore. 

This doesn't just apply to food as well, we had lots of random house decorative bits which didn't have a home for a while and rather then getting rid of them we have rotated them round the house until we found a room where we liked them. Its so easy to chuck something away because it doesn't suit your theme only to need one a few months later and end up buying it again. 

  • Never impulse buy for the house
I love buying items for my house like most people and going into Home Sense or Dunelm can be really hurtful for my bank balance, I like to go home shopping with Cal because he does stop me going crazy for stuff that we don't need and don't have room for. Home stuff can be really expensive so I try and really think about what I want for the house and stop myself impulse buying. If I find something that I really like but it is super expensive, I like to sleep on the idea of spending that much money on one item. You can get into the hype of 'I need to buy this now, it won't be here tomorrow if I change my mind' but I have come to believe that if I return to the shop and the item is still there then I was meant to purchase it. 

  • Treat Yourself 
This one may sound strange in this list but when you have been really good for a long period of time you deserve a treat. Me and Cal have the occasional take away when we have cooked dinner for the whole week because it gives me a night off from cooking and its something a bit different. If we don't have a take away we sometimes go out for date night instead and again its just a little treat for our hard work. Just watch out they become too much of regular thing!

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