A few unexpected personal circumstances have meant that I have to move out of my current house, next week. It’s safe to say that i’m a little unprepared and instead of packing boxes I’m here writing a blog for you…procrastination at its best! I’m going to be writing a series of moving blogs, from budgeting tips to packing all your belongings and keeping the whole process as stress free as possible!
Sharing the cost of rent, bills etc was a bit of a safety net if one person couldn’t pay then there is a second income to cover the cost. But now it is time for me to rent a flat by myself, no bills included in the rent like in previous house shares/student accommodation, time to be a proper grown up on my own!
My top budget tips
I’m on a relatively small/average income so it is so important to budget when looking for a new flat. I am going to share with you how I put together my budget and how I continue to do so when I move into my new place next week! Firstly I would recommend writing all your costs down each month, estimating the ones that can change from month to month and calculating the exact costs of things like car insurance and rent. Take this away from your monthly wages (after tax) and you should be able to work out a budget for yourself!
1.Work out how much rent you can afford
The first thing to do is work out an absolute maximum rent you can afford, and stick to this amount. Don’t be tempted to go for somewhere that you won’t realistically be able to afford. Search around and see what sort of property you can get with your budget. For me it was a studio or small one bed flat. I didn’t want a house share so there weren’t as many options in my area, so be flexible on what you are looking for.
2.Account for bills
Once you have established your rent, make sure you account for the bills on top. Water, gas, electric and council tax. Add all these estimates up to account into your budget. I over estimated these costs a little, just in case I have a rogue expensive bill every now and then, it means I will be able to cover the cost!
3. Estimate your general spending costs
Spend a couple of weeks monitoring what you’re spending on things like food, petrol, nights out etc. These are the sort of costs that can spiral out of control easily. I sometimes sit and look at my bank statement thinking ‘whuuuut, where has all my money gone?!’. It is easy to spend a little here, a little there, but these costs add up so quickly and can lead you to going massively over your intended budget. The sooner you get a handle on these sorts of costs the better your budgeting skills will be.
Put aside a little extra money each month in case of emergencies. Things like your car breaking down, or having to replace a kitchen appliance that has had its day. If you put a little bit of money away every month then you will have yourself covered if something goes wrong!
Remember, budgeting doesn’t mean that you can’t go out and treat yourself once in a while. Spare some funds each month for treats such as new clothes, meals out or a trip to the zoo!
6.Stick to your budget!
The most important thing to remember is to stick to the budget you set yourself. If you starting creeping over the limit you set yourself each month then it will soon start going south and could lead to more stress and money worries. If you find yourself doing this, sit down and re-write your entire monthly budget. Areas that you don’t spend as much money could be spent in places that you need that little more. Also, remember to leave yourself a little monthly wage after writing your budget. You don’t want to write down all the above costs and be left with 50p each month. I’ve allowed myself a £150 per month safety net, just incase something seriously unexpected hits me in the face. Hopefully the majority of this will go into my travelling saving funds!
Let me know what your top budgeting tips are!