If you’re the kind of person who always ends up at the end of the month with pennies in your bank account, then it might be time to think about setting up a budget. Budgeting might not be something that most people look forward to, but it is an excellent way to get more out of your money, particularly as a struggling millennial.
Around the world, millennials are known for having some serious budgeting issues, caused by things like the poor economy, limited earning opportunities, and of course, student loans. Fortunately, the following tips will help you to manage your money more efficiently in the future, so you can finish the month with more left over.
1. Track Your Spending
First, invest some of your time into paying closer attention to the money that’s coming into your bank account and going out each month. Download an app to help you or set up a spreadsheet if you need to. Whatever works for you is fine.
The key to success with tracking your spending is making sure that you actually cover everything. Don’t overlook things like weekly coffees and the money you spend on newspapers just because think it’s only a few pounds here and there. All of the cash you spend makes a dent in your budget – so pay attention to it. Once you know where your money is going, you can assess whether you’re really using it wisely.
2. Use your Calendar
Got a calendar on your phone or computer? Maybe you’re just using an old-fashioned paper calendar. Whatever your choice – make the most of your ability to track your schedule. With your calendar, write down exactly when you’re making your payments for monthly things like your rent, mortgage, or utilities. If possible, it might be a good idea to switch your payments so that they all come out on the same day, towards the beginning of your month.
If you can send out your payments as soon as you get paid, then you’ll be less likely to spend cash that you don’t have and end up with overdue bills on your hands.
3. Check and Improve your Credit Score
If you want to make life and budgeting easier, one of the best things you can do is work on your credit score. There are plenty of free apps and tools out there that millennials can use to get a better idea of what their credit score looks like. Once you have a reading of your credit rating, you can use it to decide whether you need to take steps to improve your numbers.
A better credit score is a great way to make sure that you get the best deals offered to you when you’re applying for loans and even mortgages in the future. Don’t underestimate the power of good credit.
4. Invest Your Spare Change
Investing is another excellent way to prepare yourself for a better future. Unfortunately, a lot of millennials assume that investing is reserved for people with unlimited cash. This simply isn’t the case. The truth is that anyone can start investing in no time. All you need is an app like Acorns which allows you to spend your spare change left over from regular purchases on investments instead of just putting it into your savings.
Essentially, this form of micro-investing means that when you spend £9.50 on something when you’re out shopping, you can choose to put the remaining 50 pence from your ten pounds into an investment. You probably won’t make a fortune this way any time soon, but you will gradually begin to see returns on your money that gives you more to save in the long-term. You’ll also get a feel for investing so you can make the most of it later.
5. Comparison Shop
Finally, when it comes to shopping for services, make sure that you’re always getting the best deal by looking at what different providers have to offer. Don’t assume that you’re automatically getting the best deal from a provider just because you’ve been with the same company for a while.
Every 6-12 months take a look at your bank statements and ask yourself whether you might be able to save some cash by changing provider for your gas, electricity, car insurance, or another important monthly payment. You’d be surprised how often companies take advantage of a customer’s desire to simply avoid switching to another company. Don’t miss out on the savings you deserve.