Payday is the best day to save your money wisely. As they say (I have no idea who they is), payday saveday. I don’t often share advice on finances but as someone that budgets every month I thought I’d write a little post about what I do to actually enjoy the money I earn. So, here’s a little post all about how to save on payday and really plan your finances for the month ahead.
Monitor your outgoings
It’s always beneficial to know what your set outgoings will be for the month before getting paid. For example, rent, what home bills you’ll have going out, phone costs, commuting – all of those types of payments.
It’s really useful to know this so you can work out exactly how much you will need to hold back for your essential payments. If you don’t know how much you spend on travel, for example, apps like Emma can show you how much you’ve spent on a certain provider over the last month (and more).
Set up a standing order to yourself
Whether you get paid into one account and transfer to ‘pots’ and ‘jars’ or get paid into a current account and use a different bank for day to day spending, it’s always good to separate your money into designated accounts or pools.
For me, I get paid into a Graduate Santander Account and then transfer the relevant amounts to my Santander Savings Account and Monzo Current Account. I find that Monzo is a lot easier to manage my monthly spending, and my Graduate Account acts like a pool before distributing the money.
So, each month on payday, I send the set amounts for rent, water bills, council tax, electricity and any other home payments to my ‘home’ pot on Monzo. I then send the rough amount for travel that month into my ‘travel’ pot. It’s really up to you how you divide it up, but having separate pots helps you to know which money you can touch and which needs to be saved for particular payments.
Your personal budget is up to you
So once I’ve accounted for all my flat payments and travel, I then work out how much I want to spend on food and entertainment that month. Sometimes I feel like splurging and other months I want to save. It’s really up to you how much you want to allocate to fun things and treating yourself, or saving for the future.
We’re always presented with this idea that the second you have a job, every spare penny has to go into savings for a house or family, but that’s so not true. It’s fine if you don’t want to start saving until your mid twenties or thirties – do what suits you.
Find out what apps work best for you
I’ve previously shared some of the best free budgeting apps, but it’s really important that you find one that works for you. I really like Emma for tracking how much money I’ve spent at certain companies, but I really didn’t like seeing my balance pop up on screen every morning. I love using Monzo as I’ve said previously, as it’s really easy to put money into separate pots for specific things, and only move it into your accessible pot when you need to.
Don’t have the money to save in the first place?
Maybe you have the intention to save money every payday or treat yourself to something nice, but just don’t have the money left over after essential payments. This can come down to not having enough income to meet your outgoings, or having too many payments that you may not need. Below are some ideas of how you can either increase your income or reduce your outgoings.
Sometimes our income just isn’t enough, so it’s time to get brainstorming how to get some more money coming in. Try thinking about what things you can sell – whether it’s old clothes or something you can up-cycle. See if there’s also anything that you can get involved with in your spare time too (if your job contract permits it) such as tutoring or coaching.
You could also think about starting a small side hustle in your spare time that makes a bit of extra cash. You can find my guide to starting and running a money-making side hustle here.
When assessing your monthly outgoings, think about what you could cut down on. Take a look at payments such as phone bills, travel costs, subscriptions etc. If you don’t want to completely cut them out, see if you can call up and get a better price than you’re currently paying.
Do you find it difficult to put money aside each month, either for spending or saving? It can be difficult but it’s definitely worth sitting down one afternoon and planning it out over a cup of tea or coffee. My main advice would be – don’t fall into the trap of leaving saving till the end of the month and really following the payday save day advice.
Find more posts about managing your finances here.