LIFESTYLE: HOW TO BUDGET WHEN LIVING ON YOUR OWN
17 March 2016
I'm no expert or lifestyle guru but I thought i'd share a few ways that I budget now that I live in my own place with Clint. Neither of us have lived alone before so it was all very new and we really wasn't sure if we could afford it or not.
The main thing is to be organised when you first move in you have to sort out things like reading meters and phoning the providers, council tv licence people etc so i'd put aside a few hours to sit on the phone or computer to do this. I'd right a list with the telephone numbers and your readings first before you phone up.
Once you've sorted all that out you should have a rough idea of how much your bills are going to cost, if you've been living on your own for a little while you will already know how much your bills are. It's worth writing this figure down and remembering it, so then you know how much you need to have in your bank to cover the bills.
Most of our bills come out on the first of the month which if you get paid at the end of the month like me this makes the most sense. I set up a joint account and used this for all of the bills to come out of. This way we both transfer enough money into this account and have our own bills still in our personal accounts and then any left over money is our own. We tend to take it in turns with food shopping and going out for meals and share the cost of these things.
It's good to plan your month financially so if you know you've got a birthday coming up or your cars due an MOT next month then it's worth putting a little a side for that so I'd recommend saving a month or so in advance that way you've got some money put aside for if you need it and if you don't it's up to you, put it towards your bills and have a little extra money that month or spend it, go on a day out or a nice meal. Any extra money that I put aside i'd save a put towards a holiday.
There's always ways you can save money, when we moved we both cancelled our gym memberships and Clint got rid of his sky package at his parents house. This saved us about £140 a month! Although I really want to join the gym again I have found ways to work out but without it costing any money, I walk to work now which is a good 20 minutes there then 20 minutes back. I have a few fitness dvds and we got a Kinect for the Xbox which you can work out with. I'm still burning the same amount of calories I did at the gym but it's not costing me £35 a month. I would love to save up and go back but at the moment I can't really afford it.
Get loyalty cards etc, our Tesco clubcard saves us so much money, we tend to do most of our shopping at tesco and Clint occasionally gets fuel from there so our points add up and we get vouchers in the post, a few weeks ago we got £8 off our shopping and last week they sent out vouchers that give you £3/£4 off for the next 6 weeks if you spend over £30 so we can make great savings on our general food shop.
I also have a boots card which I have over £25 worth of points to spend, I sometimes use this when money is a little tight and I need essentials or need to get my eyebrows done etc.
Also use apps like Vouchercloud and Vouchercodes to find the vouchers, if your shopping or going out for food etc theres tons of vouchers which can save you money! Check out moneysupermarket too for great tips for saving money using vouchers.
I want to have a good sort out and ebay some things. Ebay or a carboot is a great way to make a little extra cash. If you know there's a new beauty release coming up and you won't be able to afford it you could sell a few things you don't use. I have a wardrobe full of things I don't wear and you can use that money for things you would use. I'd recommend keeping money in your paypal account aswell. I find I save money better when I keep it in my Paypal and then if I do want to buy something I use the money straight from my Paypal so it doesn't come out of my own money in my bank.
Going out? We didn't really go out much before but we did eat out loads, I love staying in and eating home cooked food. We still go out here and there but it's lovely to get home from work, cook dinner and chill. We easily spent £100+ a week on eating out, that pretty much covers our food shopping for two weeks!
Meal planning is a really good way to save money. If your always throwing food out then your basically throwing money away. Sit down for a few hours and plan your week. Now i'm doing slimming world I find I do this anyway but it's great to get an idea of what you need to buy when your shopping , write a list so you don't pick up things you don't need just because they are on offer for a pound! This way you reduce the amount of food you throw away and have more time to chill because you can prep and already know what your eating so no need to spend ages deciding what to have.
I hope you enjoyed this, as I said i'm no money saving guru but we have managed to live on our own for nearly 5 months now and i'm loving it. I never thought i'd be able to afford to live alone but we are and I still have a little bit of money left over each month to take a trip to Primark or go out for a Pizza Express!
Posted by Amy Gamble at 11:58