It’s never a bad time to think about getting on top of your finances. Naturally, not being in control of your finances comes with a stress that can be largely alleviated by setting some savings goals, taking stock of your spending and thinking about budgeting in a different way.
Whether you’ve got a loan from a student loans company or are simply looking for ways to save while studying, here are some tips for getting on top of your finances now and in the future.
Know where you’re spending
Start by thinking about your spending habits. It may be a little stressful doing it, as you might be surprised at how much you’re spending in places you might not have to, but this is all part of the process toward getting better control of your spending.
Start by going over your most recent bank statement, going over your spending from the last period. This is a great way to identify what you are spending money on, from clothing to going out, rent, bills and more. This makes it much easier to analyse your spending, especially if you have a banking app that groups your purchases automatically. This way you can see what categories make up the bulk of your spending and where you can cut back.
Think about different budgeting strategies
If you are looking to streamline your spending or find it hard to manage your money, a budget can be a good way to get back on top of things. A budget provides a list of guidelines on where you should be spending your money on a monthly basis. You can allocate your income to different expense groupings each month, from entertainment to savings, food and bills.
There are many different budgeting strategies at your disposal, and you can try different styles if one doesn’t work for you. One popular method is the 50/30/20 budget, which divides your income into three categories: wants, needs and savings.
This budget style is easy to follow and allows you to enjoy spending money. The Kakeibo budget is a great budgeting method for people looking to gain better control of their spending.
Set financial goals for the year ahead
It’s wise to set financial goals for the year ahead, such as paying off your current debt or saving for a house deposit. Of course, it can seem hard to achieve when the goal you set is so far away, so to help you stay motivated you can set short term, incremental goals that work toward your overall objective.
You might be looking to pay off the balance of your credit card or save $6,000 for a holiday, either way it is important to set specific goals that can be measured from month to month and have a finalised deadline.
Consolidate your debts
If you’re paying off several credit card debts or loans at one time, it might be difficult to manage your monthly repayments. Consolidating your debts into the one single loan can help you manage your repayments as you have just one debt to repay, one payment to make each month and a single date to pay it by.
It’s always good to think about!
Yes, thinking about money and getting on top of your student finances can be a nuisance, even pretty stressful, but it’s a good thing to think about if you are concerned about your spending. By setting some goals, knowing where you could be spending less and budgeting for the month ahead, you can gain greater control over your spending.