27 September 2018

Your back-to-school budget makeover

Despite our best efforts, the summer holidays are coming to an end. Tans are fading, the BBQs are being packed away and coats are making their dreaded return!
But with September here and the children back at school, you’ve now got a bit of time to take stock and re-organise your finances. Summer travels and long weekends may well have rendered your once-strict budget a little more lenient, but this is your chance to put good habits back in place!

1. Use kid-free time to undertake a financial review

  • With a little more free time on your hands, now is the time to take a look at that budget spreadsheet. Find out where each and every pound is going – from food to bills to clothes – and see where you can make cuts to give yourself that little bit more disposable income. A healthy budget will ensure you keep on track each month.

2. Learn from this year’s spending for next year

  • Take a look at your monthly statements over the course of the past year to identify any patterns with your spending. Find out why some months are more expensive than others, and use that information to plan for the coming year. It means you can start saving earlier for those pricier periods, such as birthdays, holidays and Christmas celebrations.

3. Look at things you can sell – if you’re tight on income but rich in assets, maybe think about selling items you no longer need?

  • Whilst this period is a great opportunity to take a look at your budget, it also gives you ample time to assess how you can make more money from assets that you no longer need. Could you sell that coffee machine that is gathering dust on the side? Do you have 100 previously watch DVDs that could be sold to a second-hand store? No matter how small the price, 100 DVDs at £2 per item would earn you a tidy sum of £200.

4. Budget for holiday spending – you can never start too early!

  • As one summer holiday ends, it’s time to begin planning for your next break in the sun. Holidays are expensive – there is simply no way around it. But by putting aside some money each month, you’ll feel less of a financial crunch when it comes to booking your next holiday in the New Year.

5. Keep an eye on your spending

  • Once you’ve drawn up your budget, it’s important to keep an eye on how you’re sticking to it. Revisit your budget each month to see where you are overspending – or underspending – so as to avoid affecting your finances too drastically in the long run.

Published: 27/09/2018