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2019 is your year to get a handle on your finances.
From budgeting tools and tips on managing your money, this post is going to teach you how to budget, how to increase your savings, and show you some of the tools fo you need.
Below are my absolute must-have budgeting tool and tips for every savvy spender and best of all – most of these are completely free to use but can make you massive savings over time.
Related Posts to Read Next:
How to Get Your Budget Ship-Shape this Year
15 Amazing Budget Hacks to Save Over $12,000 Every Year
Tracking Your Expenses
It’s simple: you need to know how much you’re earning, and how much you’re spending, in order to know your budget.
Do you know, really, how much you spend each month, let alone each year? It can feel like a picky, tiresome task for sure, but even committing to tracking your spending properly for a couple of months can bring an entirely new perspective into your spending.
A money tracker is one of my number one must-have budgeting tools for anyone who needs a better insight into their spending. The following trackers listed are all FREE to sign up to – so there’s no reason you can’t get a better look into your finances today.
Money trackers often cost nothing to sign up to and use (you just need an email and phone number for security purposes when logging in), is super secure to keep your data safe, and is fantastic whether you want to just track your income and outgoings each week, or whether you have more technical tracking requirements such as investments.
If you’re looking to invest your money in 2019, you’re already adopting a financially savvy approach to making investments. Studies have revealed that millennial women are investing less money than anyone else – simply because they don’t know where to start or how to choose the right company to invest with.
Many people opt to visit a financial advisor to begin investing, but for many people, an online broker has all the tools you need to invest, with total control over your investments. Check out this guide to the best online stock trading brokers to find out more.
Building An Emergency Buffer
An emergency buffer is essentially a bank of savings to protect you if you need to pay for unexpected costs – such as your car breaking down, for example.
Aim to save at least 2 – 3 months income and keep this topped up at all times – having this security need is so important if you want to be confident in your financial decisions.
Weekly Meal Plans
Planning your meals for the week and even cooking them in advance can be a massive money saver. Each week (preferably a day or two before you do your weekly shop), make a plan of the meals you’ll cook that week. If you end up with the same meal three nights of the week, then so be it – as long as it’s tasty you won’t mind, and cooking in bulk is always cheaper!
I’d recommend finding a style of cooking you really enjoy, and using those recipes as staples each week. Experimenting with cooking new dishes is fun, but it can get pretty tiring after a long day at work and you’re starving!
Food bloggers (or should I call them influencers now?) I really enjoy following for their simple but delicious recipes include Pinch of Yum, Deliciously Ella, and The Minimalist Baker.
I also have a Weekly Meal Planner that you can download for FREE in my freebie library.
A smart meter will show you exactly how much energy you are using each day in pounds and pence, allowing you to monitor how much your monthly bills will be and adjust your energy usage to suit your budget accordingly.
In the UK, every household is entitled to a smart meter free of charge, so there is no reason not to make this change today and really take control over your energy usage. This will also go a long way to helping you reduce your impact on the environment, so it’s a double win. You can find out more about smart meters on the official web page here.
We have a Nest Thermostat installed in our house and it’s a great way of controlling the temperature of our home throughout the day.
It automatically heats your home according to the way you live (for example, if you get up at 7 am, it will start heating the house at 6 am so it’s warm by the time you wake up!), and can also be adjusted from your phone. That means you can keep the heating off while you’re out the house, and set it to turn on as you’re on your way home.
This may not seem like a super-savvy budgeter tip, but Amazon Prime TV provides you with access to thousands of TV shows and movies for just $99 per year – with 30-days completely free at the beginning.
That’s a huge saving compared to your typical Sky or Virgin TV box.
Click here to sign up to your 30-day Amazon Prime trial (cancellable at any time), and see if it makes a difference to the TV you enjoy. If it doesn’t, making the switch could be a great way to save money this year.
Selling items you don’t use any longer is a fantastic way to make some quick and easy cash each month. Every time I clear out my wardrobe or a room in the house, I’ll select items to donate, and items that are still in great condition and that will sell well online.
A few of the best sites and services I always use to sell online include:
- Decluttr (this is great for old CDs, DVDs and other electronics!)
Why not check out this great guide on saving money on eBay from a blogger totally killing the game with her eBay business.
How do you stay budget-savvy in your daily life? Let me know your must-know tips in the comment section!