More restrictions and more guidelines in the UK because of this damned virus. It must be causing a lot of stress and financial problems. I know it did with me.
I have seen the high street become a ghost town, friends losing their jobs, big businesses going bust and my spending going all over the place.
In the first few weeks of the pandemic and when the whole world went into Lockdown, I went on a crazy spending spree. Why I did this was because I thought I needed “stuff” to keep me occupied while I was at home all day every day. I bought clothes to lounge around in when I didn’t need them. I bought jigsaws still waiting to be completed. I even subscribed to an art subscription box, even though my art stash is stupidly enormous.
My finances started to suffer and I went so much in the red that I am amazed I have managed to get myself out of it and back in the black.
It wasn’t until September that I started to take the much-needed action and I am so glad that I did.
Here is how I managed to turn it all around:
1/ I created a monthly budget planner for myself
With the monthly budget planner, I was able to write down all my income and expenses for the whole month and see all my money in one place.
2/ I printed a month’s statement
I went through this statement very carefully and highlighted all the fixed expenses in one colour and all those unnecessary purchases with another colour.
3/ I cancelled all subscriptions no longer needed
This was something that was eating away at my budget and I was ruthless. I cancelled the art subscription box because that was just a luxury I could not afford. I also got rid of any subscription that wasn’t of any use to me and wasn’t being used at all. Doing this saved me £20 a month.
4/ I downgraded some subscriptions
Some of the subscriptions I paid for had free versions so I downgraded these. I now use the most basic subscription for my needs and this saved me another £20 a month.
£40 a month was going on subscriptions and I was shocked by this.
5/ I gave myself a survival budget
My survival budget was just £30 per week after the fixed expenses allowed me to really cut back my spending a great deal. Whatever was leftover at the end of the week was put into a savings pot so I could buy myself a treat at the end of the month. The treat was usually a book or a pampering set.
By implementing these simple but effective strategies I have managed to reduce my outgoings by £80 and upwards per month. I now have money left over at the end of the month to put aside for savings.
Here is the budget planner that I used to get myself back on track. It is available in my Etsy store for just a few pounds and ready for you to print at home.
I would love to know how you have managed to stay afloat with your finances and any tips that would benefit other readers.