Thursday, October 03, 2019

Diagnosing My Spending With PayPlan & My Top 5 Money Saving Tips ♥

Money has never been something I've been good with. I'm one of those people who feels like they have to spend money as soon as they get it, almost as if it's burning a hole in my pocket!

Since I've become a mother though, I've been forced to reel in my spending and try to form new habits when it comes to money.

I recently took the diagnose your spending quiz by PayPlan, who offer free solutions and advice for people in debt, to see just how well I was doing when it came to all things money related and scored 51-100. The quiz determined that my spending was 'under control', which was reassuring to be honest.

PayPlan declared that this score meant that I was managing my finances fairly well and seemed to be in control of my budget. They also stated that planning for the future is a great thing to do in order to keep my finances in check.

Here are some things I've done to ensure that I'm not living beyond my means and am able to save each month.

1. I set up a savings account in my local Credit Union
This is something which has really helped me to save money as I don't have access to the account unless I physically go into the brand to take out the money, which means it's spared from an impulse purchases! I never go out of my way to withdraw money from my savings account, but it's reassuring to know that it's there in case of any emergencies.

2. I don't and will never have a credit card
I live by the rule that unless I physically have the money - either in my purse or in my bank account, then I cannot purchase something. I refuse to live in debt to the bank or anyone else and it means that if I want something I have to save up first and then buy it outright, like I did when I bought my car.

3. I try not to impulse buy
This is something I'm working on. I'm quite good at not dishing out money readily just because I like the look of something. I've learned to ask myself the questions - 1. do I really need it, 2. do I really want it and 3. will it actually be used, before purchasing anything. It helps me to buy quality over quantity and to only get the things we really need. Usually clothes for the kids are my biggest weakness when it comes to impulse buying but this is something I'm really trying to work on.

4. I budget weekly and monthly
I know when my direct debits are going out and make sure to have money in my account to cover them so that I don't go into overdraft. I have to set aside money each month for bills and weekly for the food shopping, the boys' activities, etc. and I immediately take that money out of my spending bracket because I know it's accounted for already. Almost pretending that I didn't have that money in the first place makes me never spend the allotted money on other outgoings.

5. I always make sure I'm getting the best price
No one wants to pay over the odds for something, especially when they can get it cheaper, so I always look out for deals, coupon codes, etc. before making a purchase - especially if it's travel related. At the moment I've looking at some last minute cruise deals because I really want to get the best deal available when I travel - it means more spending money! I recently downloaded to Honey extension for Firefox which checks the codes for me and finds me the best deals before buying. It means I've saving money without little effort and that's always a great thing! It's also worth noting how much you're spending on things such as bank fees, because each transaction can really add up. I've heard a lot of talk about Revolut at the moment - which charges no fees for spending your money and it's something I've also signed up to recently.

If you fancy diagnosing your spending too take the PayPlan quiz. It was great for helping me evaluate my spending habits.

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