Now we’re coming towards the end of the year, many people are thinking about budgeting for Christmas and into 2023. With costs at their highest in a generation, it makes sense to plan and consider ways to make cutbacks while still enjoying the festive period with friends and family.
This article will look at how you can create a workable budget and help maintain healthy finances well into the new year.
Identify your outgoings
To begin planning a budget, you’ll need to know exactly what your income is each month and what you’re spending. Consider your essential outgoings first, such as rent, bills, food and travel, then note what you’re spending on extras. These could be items such as meals out, online purchases, unnecessary subscriptions and daily coffees.
It’s also a good idea to note down any expenses related to birthdays, anniversaries and Christmas, as these will affect your spending in that particular month. Of course, there are sometimes unexpected emergencies that arise, so it’s worth factoring these in too. If a situation like this does occur, you might consider going for an alternative of small loan to help you stay on track.
There are a few different methods you can use to create your budget, including online spreadsheet templates or making your own document.
Consider areas where you can make cutbacks
There will likely be some areas where you could reduce your spending each month. Some potential factors to think about are:
- Changing supermarkets – Try shopping around and discovering who has the best deals and offers. It might take a bit more time, but it’ll be worth it if you can make significant savings.
- Considering waste – Keep track of how much food you waste each week and buy accordingly. If you’re regularly throwing away fruit or veg, buy less or think about choosing a few frozen or tinned items instead
- Trying charity shops – If you need a new item or piece of clothing, visit local charity shops or check out online marketplaces for cheaper options.
- Limiting nights out and treats – Instead of treating yourself every week, make nights out once a month or every other week and use treats to reward yourself, rather than as an everyday purchase.
- Car sharing – If you regularly drive to work, see if there is anyone you can car share with to save on fuel costs.
Of course, if you’re struggling at any point with any aspect of your finances or find yourself in unmanageable debt, it’s important to seek help from a professional advisor or organisation.