‘Where does your money go?’: Finance planner shares how to control your budget

Martin Lewis advises on savings accounts for deposits

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Rebel Finance School, part of Rebel Business School, helps individuals to avoid debt and master their personal finances through free learning courses. Alan Donegan, co-founder of Rebel Finance School, shares unique ways of saving up to £37,600.

Figure out expenses

“Where does money go?” Mr Donegan asked.

“The first step to taking control is working out where it is already going.

“Track expenses using an app like Money Dashboard and then, at the end of the month, review if you are getting value from your spending.”

Mr Donegan also suggests making this budgeting and financial review a family endeavour.

“Get the family around the table, do it with girlfriend and discuss what brings you the most joy and what was a waste of money!”

Make lunch at home

“Making lunch at home might seem like a cliché, but we are £37,600 better off for having done it, and healthier.

“Every week, Katie and I batch made salads for us which were bigger, healthier, and cheaper than shop or café bought.

“It only cost us £1.50 a day each for lunch and we took the difference, saved it and invested it and over the period we were working that grew to £37,600 that would not have had eating out each lunch time.”

Save on personal transport

Mr Donegan explained: “If you are a two-car family, get rid of one of cars.

“So many people are working from home now, do you really need two cars?”

When reviewing this one may find times when having two cars was necessary, but it’s worth doing a bit of research to see if simply using other transport methods like Uber would be cheaper.

Rent any spare space

“If you have spare space in house, then rent out one of the rooms.

“The rent-a-room scheme allows you to earn up to £7500 a year, tax free,” he said.

Change of financial mindset

Mr Donegan commented: “Don’t see income as fixed.

“It is incredible how many people believe that it is easier to reduce expenses rather than increase income. 

“When was the last time you asked for a raise?” he added.

Emergency funds

“Have an emergency fund so that you don’t have any emergencies.

“Start to save up £1000 in an account in case the washing machine breaks, the car breaks down or you need to change jobs.”

Invest

“Take a percentage of your money each month and invest it into a broad-based index fund so that it grows.

“Buy a simple index fund (such as the Vanguard FTSE Global All Cap Index Fund) and hold forever. 

“Don’t just reduce your expenses, start to put some of your hard-earned funds to work for you.”

Negotiate your debt

“No one thinks to do this, they just accept that the bank, the store card or the credit card charges 29.9 percent interest.

“Make a list of all your debts in order of interest and then call them and ask for a reduction in the interest rate.” 

Have a family meeting

“If you are a couple or family, you need a vision of what you want your finances to be like so that you’re all working together.

“Money is the one of the biggest reasons for divorce around the world and we need to break the taboo about talking about money.” 

Mr Donegan concluded: “Start to openly communicate about money, your fears, your dreams and more with the people you love.”
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