Balancing Your Lifestyle On A Tight Budget

Emma Victoria Stokes Money Budgeting

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Welcome to the world of adulting. What they don’t tell you in school is that it’s draining and downright expensive. How is a girl supposed to choose between spending money on either a kebab or a new lipstick? I guess we’ll never know. Likewise, when you’ve just sorted out your budgeting to cover a new major expense (like my whopping £150,000 new mortgage for example!) – how easy is it to factor in additional expenses like a car? I test drove a brand new Ford Eco Sport the other week. It was bright yellow and stuck out like a sore thumb. I wanted it bad but realised I couldn’t afford paying an extra £300 a month…

Emma Victoria Stokes Budgeting Money

Amending a budget

The truth is, there’s no “one size fits all” when it comes to saving money. I should know, my boyfriend spends most of his £ on season tickets and beer. I on the other hand, prefer to buy trips abroad and experiences.  In working together with Loan provider Auto Advance, here are some simple tips that can help you reassess your monthly budget. Three easy areas you could change could be:

Where you shop – weekly grocery shopping is a major part of many weekly budgets, so look for where you can make the biggest saving. We buy most of our food from Aldi which has meant changing what we buy in terms of brands. In the long run, our weekly shops now come to around £20. I know, how crazy does that sound?

Limiting takeaways or meals out – This one is hard for me because I LOVE food. I run a freaking food blog for crying out loud. However the amount that you spend on takeaways can be more than you think. If you order out one night a week try, switching to one night a month and look at the amount you save. Creating a weekly meal plan will also stop you from spending silly money.

Cutting back on luxury items – Similarly to reducing the number of takeaways you indulge in, try looking at the items you buy each month that aren’t always necessary. It  might sound harsh, but cutting back could again save you tonnes of money. This could mean reducing the tariff your phone is on – my contracts ends next month and I’ll be moving over to sim only! Or perhaps cancelling subscriptions to streaming services you aren’t even using. This also includes beauty box subscriptions, nobody needs THAT many eyeliners!

Emma Victoria Stokes Flower

Comfortable budgeting

With so many birthdays, blogger events, petrol costs, water and gas bills, it’s easy to forget everything costs money. Whatever my monthly budget, I always try to make sure there’s some wiggle room so I keep a spare £50 to hand to cover any additional expenses. The key is to be sensible, looking at what you can afford and finding the middle ground that allows you to live comfortably. This could also mean finding cheaper alternatives to certain things or shopping around for better deals (my boyfriend loves doing this, he’s just scored us a mint Sky Sports package for our new house).

Don’t forget that effective budgeting and ensuring your monthly bills are covered first is always a good move. I’ve even started moving money out of my account on pay day to my ISA account, at least I know I’ll be a millionaire by the time I’m 80. Do you have any effective money saving habits? Do let me know in the comments below.

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  • Leanne

    by far one of the hardest things to adjust to when ‘adulting’ is saving money! we’re trying to save for a trip to australia next year but i have a penchant for buying far too many gig tickets. these tips will definitely help save money elsewhere in my budget! x

    http://www.thedressdiaries.co.uk

    • Hey Leanne. Oh my god, a trip to Australia sounds like the dream. Can I come with you? And yes, I know the feeling. Budgeting sucks, but has to be done!

  • sara mcavoy

    I find shopping at Aldi is one of the easiest way of saving money, my weekly shop is always £20-£30 cheaper than the likes of Asda or Sainsburys, Granted though they don’t have the brands your use too but thats just something you have to get use too!
    http://www.wanderfreeblog.wordpress.com
    xx

    • Aldi is SO underrated. Alright, you may not buy branded stuff but it’s just as good. I love them, my shopping bill has halved since living next door to one.