Top tips for managing your time and your money

Time and money. Two of the things we all wish we had more of. Simply put, the guide that follows provides a two birds, one stone type of approach to look at how we can maximise our time and money. To effectively budget smarter, in terms of both our time and money.

Automatic Payments – use them to your benefit

Let’s start with a top finance/budgeting tip. You’ve got student loan repayments, mortgage or rent payments, as well as paying off the new car. On top of this you have utility bills to account for, weekly groceries and all other living costs plus you’re hoping to save for that grand holiday next summer. Automatic payments once strategically deployed can be a great ally here. Look to set up your utility bills in direct debit form. Many companies prefer this form of payment themselves and will tend to offer slightly lower rates if you set up an AP (Automatic Payment). Win-win. Chances are your mortgage and student loan repayments are already set up automatically but why not consider increasing the amount you pay here on a weekly or monthly basis? Sticking with this line of thought why not generate your savings through a similar scheme. Set up an automatic payment so that with each payday a set proportion of your wage/salary is automatically transferred to a designated savings account.

 

Online Shopping – way of the world

The way of the modern world. If you struggle to find time in your busy schedule to visit your local shop or mall why not shop online? When you shop in-store there is likely to be a heightened incidence of impulse shopping, or you may be talked into a more expensive purchase than is necessary by a crafty salesman compared to when your purchase decisions are made online. Alternatively, shopping online may allow you cheaper options than in-store. Think, sign-up discounts, online exclusive offers plus the good chance that the selection range available online will be greater than in your local store. Online shopping can extend from purchasing clothing products through to flights and even grocery shopping. If managed effectively your shopping bill can be reduced plus you will have the added bonus of more time at your leisure.

 

Meal Prep – not just for gym-junkies

You don’t necessarily need to be chasing the gains via a gym-heavy lifestyle to justify meal preparation. It’s an organised way to have a healthy, wholesome meal instead of falling trap to the ‘I don’t have time, let’s settle for fast food’ way of thinking. You can meal prep multiple ways and it would be best to make it fit to your schedule and lifestyle. The basic premise is to prepare your meals on a weekly basis or days in advance as opposed to doing this daily. Instead of going to the supermarket, daily on your commute home aim to do the grocery shopping once or twice per week and pick up all the essentials you require for your meals for the week. You’ll notice you will reduce your overall spending plus you will likely reduce the amount of unhealthy items that accumulate in your grocery basket.

 

Plan, Plan, Plan

It’s not rocket science, but planning your weekly activities in accordance with your budget is a wise, highly recommended move. Jot down the nights you plan on going to the gym, the birthday parties coming up, any functions or travel plans you may have. And couple this with when you’re automatic payments are made, when any other bills are due and even fit your pay-day into the schedule. This will allow you to work out when and where you can allocate greater proportions of your income per month. You can even include your meal plans into your schedule. Perhaps you base your meal prep for Monday – Thursday or Friday and allow a night out on the Friday or Saturday. You don’t want to become so routine-ised that you become robotic and avoid fun, but at the same time the principle of this will allow you to free up time and money for you spend at your leisure.

 

Prioritise wisely & learn to say no

The golden rule of time management – complete the important tasks first before, immerse yourself in them before moving on to the tasks you consider of lower priority. With prioritisation also comes the notion that you must learn to say no. Having a lot of commitments and juggling various engagements is a complement to you, but at some point enough is enough. Focus on the things you know you have time for and fully commit to them. This may or may not correlate to any effect on your back pocket but is a point worth considering to help manage your time better.

Associate yourself with go-getter, high achievers

“It’s hard to fly with eagles when you’re surrounded by turkeys.” By this we are referring to the fact that if you’re wanting to make the most of your time and money look at whom you are spending your time with. Surround yourself with like-minded people who have common interests and intentions in place. You don’t want to lounge around in your house all weekend, every weekend. Make the most of your time, get amongst and have some fun.

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