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Pound Coins Stack

New Year, New Policy On Spending.

I am no financial expert, but I have learnt some hard lessons in 2017 where money is concerned.

We can all do it - spend more money than we intend.  We start off the month thinking to ourselves that this month we aren't going to overspend, and before you know it, we are dreading looking at our bank account!

So, what can we do to resist the urge to spend?

Firstly, look out for triggers.  I seem to want to spend more money when I am stressed, and I know I get tired nearer to the afternoon.  I therefore try not to go out shopping in the afternoon.

I love going around the shops, especially department stores, who doesn't?!!. I now do not take a lot of money with me, and maybe only one credit card, so I resist the urge to spend.

If you are upset or fed up, you may feel that going shopping will lift your mood. Well, it will for a little while, but it won't help your credit card bill!.  Go for a walk instead, 

If you can sign up to restaurants' mailing lists, then you may get regular vouchers to spend in their establishments, and save on going out for meals. Ideal for me as I love going out for meals.

Tracking your spending is the key to successfully managing your budget. Even buying small items every day mounts up. If you spend £1 a day on a newspaper, then that is £30 or £31 a month. Maybe choose just to buy a newspaper at the weekend.

Track every pound you spend.  Every pound your earn has to have a place.  Make sure you know where it is!

If you can cut down on say a coffee that you buy out each day, that will save you approx £75 per montth.  Imagine what you could do with that!

Pay in cash and don't rely on your credit cards.  With cash you can physically see what you are spending, whereas with credit cards, there are no visuals.

Set a specific financial goal by saying, for example, I am going to save £100 this month.  It gives you a clear, definable goal to work with, and is much more attainable.

Save 10% of any amount coming into a separate account.  This will give you some breathing space should a big bill come in unexpectedly.

Check on how much you spend on going out, entertaining, etc.

Put some money away for Birthdays and Christmas.  These events will always come around at the same time every year, so there is no excuse to not have the money to pay for these. It is a lot less stressful to have some money saved each month towards these.

And finally one that I love.  Put £1 or £2 in a pot every day. That's either £365 or £730 by the end of the year to treat yourself with! Result!!