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Five ways to budget savvy

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There is nothing worse than the realisation that you have more month than money. If you have found yourself in this situation and wonder how people seem to manage their finances successfully, the answer is in the word “manage.”

One of the key strategies shared by all budget-savvy individuals is that they take an active role in managing their finances. Adopt a few of these budget savvy habits and you will be on your way to successfully managing your finances.

1. Create and maintain a budget

Successfully managing your finances requires determination and discipline. The first step is to create a budget – may seem gruelling, but it’s a fundamental part of managing your finances. Thankfully, it’s easier than ever before to get your finances in order thanks to the wide range of budgeting apps and digital tools available to meet every financial goal and money-management style.

To begin, you’ll need to know the basics: your income, fixed expenses and discretionary spending. Ideally, you’ll look to take stock of these monthly. If you are completely in the dark, a good starting point is to follow the 50/30/20 rule. This budgeting strategy is one of the most popular with those starting out thanks to its simplicity. Essentially, it suggests that 50% of your income is allocated to needs, 30% to wants and 20% towards savings and financial goals.

Another great resource is the Gateway 2go app, it is the perfect tool when it comes to managing your finances. You can transfer between your Gateway bank accounts seamlessly, automate transfers into your savings accounts and keep an eye on your spending.

2. Watch your day-to-day spending

One of the easiest ways to make a difference in successfully managing your money, is to watch your day-to-day spending. This is an area where so many people slip up. Looking at what you spend every day can help you realise where you may be able to cut down. Whether it be a few coffees a day, unnecessary parking fees or meals on the go, when added up you will be able to see just how much these smaller items affect your total budget.

3. Automate your savings

The most effective way to save is to set and forget. Setting up automatic and regular payments into your savings account will make it easy to save as you won’t have to think about it. Automation may not be the best way forward for everything but when it comes to saving, scheduled transfers may just give you the push you need to succeed in your savings goals.

4. Set financial goals

If you don’t know what you are saving towards, then you can’t plan to get there. Whether it’s paying off debt, saving for home maintenance, or starting an emergency fund, as long as it has to do with your money, make it a financial goal. A key to building savings faster is to separate your goals into different ‘jam jars’ rather than putting all your savings into one account. Gateway offers you the option to name your different savings accounts and there are no account-keeping fees, so you can open as many as you like for different goals. Our Christmas Club Account is also designed with restricted access, so your funds are available when you need them most. Categorising your savings individually means you can clearly see your savings progress and make your banking less overwhelming.

5. Reward yourself

This may seem contradictory but having incentives to reach your goals will push you to get there. Building a small reward category into your budget can encourage you to keep going, and help you tackle other goals on your list.

There is no magic formula that will change your current situation immediately, but continued perseverance and thrifty habits will eventually pay off, and Gateway is here to help you every step of the way.

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