At the start of this year, one of our first blog posts talked about getting your finances (back) on track after the festive season, and that one of the best ways to do this was to set a monthly budget.
To recap, the first steps were to determine your fixed and variable monthly expenses, so you could determine where you might be able to cut costs and start saving. Working out your monthly budget was only the start though – next you needed to be able to stick to it. So now we’re halfway through the year, how is your budgeting going? For some people, it will already be second nature, however, for others, it can take longer to break bad money habits and establish healthy, new money habits. Regardless of where you fit in, now is a good time to reassess your budget, and see if there is anything you can do to make it even more effective. Here’s why:
- Your living circumstances might have changed
Are you still living in the same accommodation? If so, has your rent increased? Perhaps you’ve moved and now you’re sharing with someone, in which case you might be spending less on accommodation. Either way, be sure to adjust your budget accordingly and remember to factor in utilities such as water and electricity.
- You might have started a new job
And if you have, hopefully, that means your salary has also increased. The trick is to try (as much as possible) to continue living on what your previous income allowed, and start saving from the additional salary you’re now earning. It’s easier said than done, but give it a try.
- Your monthly expenses might be less or more
If your budgeting is on track, at this stage you could be well on your way to paying off some of your debt (store accounts, credit cards, personal loans etc.). If this is the case, your monthly debt repayments should be less, which means you should have more money left over at the end of each month which you could use to further put a dent in your debt or stash it in a savings account.