Categories
Budgeting

How to Keep Trips to the Shops Within Budget

It can sometimes be very difficult to restrain ourselves from spending money on things. If we are on a strict budget then this means that we will need to be very careful about this and we might find it really difficult to make sure that we stay in budget. However, there are things that you can do which should help.

Pay in cash

It is much easier to notice exactly how much you are spending when you pay in cash. You can actually see how much you are handing over and know precisely whether you have enough money. If you take only the money that you can afford to spend then it will be impossible for you to spend more. This can be tricky if you are spending a lot of money though, perhaps if you are doing a weekly shop or buying a very expensive item you may not want to carry that much money. However, try to do it as much as you can, particularly if you are just popping out for a few things or not intending to buy anything at all.

Only visit shops you need

If you only go into the shops you need things from, then you will be less likely to be tempted to buy more than you need. This should help you to reduce the amount that you spend and therefore stick to your budget. You might just be tempted to browse in a few places but try really hard not to as you are likely to see things that you like the look of and might want to buy.

Take a list and stick to it

One way of trying to remind yourself of your budget is to write a list of what you need to buy. If you can stick to this and not buy anything else then you will make sure that you are sticking to the budget better. It is not a fool proof plan, but if you have a set amount of money to spend and you write down what you need it will mean that you are more likely to come back with everything. If you have no list, then you may forget things and have to go back and shop another time which means more chance of being tempted to buy more than you need and you may have spent all of your budget previously so may not have any left to buy what you had forgotten anyway.

Avoiding the most tempting areas

Even if you avoid the shops that you do not need to go in to, you may still find temptation in the shops you need to shop in. Therefore, it is important to try to avoid even going into the areas where you might be tempted to spend more money than you can afford. For example, you may need to avoid the alcohol aisle in the supermarket so you do not pick up a few of your favourites from there when they are not on your shopping list.

Shop less often

Often when we pop into shops we will just buy things. This might be because we are in the habit of doing so, because we are tempted by things or because we feel obliged to buy things. This can particularly be the case when we are shopping in independent or small shops where you get into a conversation with the salesperson and you might feel you have to shop with them. Although it is nice to support shops on your high street, particularly independent traders, if you have a budget then you will need to be really careful. One way to avoid this is to go out shopping less often. Then you will not have the temptation of buying things and it will hopefully be a big help with keeping to your budget.

Avoid online shopping

Online shopping can be the hardest to avoid because it is always there in front of us. We can very easily pop on a computer or mobile device and then go to websites and buy things. We can even tell ourselves that we will be able to send it back if we change our mind and therefore go ahead with a purchase, we are not sure about. One it arrives we may just decide that we cannot be bothered to send it back and so we then have an item we may not even really want that much. If you can stop or restrict online shopping this could help perhaps by removing bank and card details from shopping sites so it is not so easy to buy things or by getting rid of your credit card altogether so shopping online is not so secure and you think twice about doing it. Also try to avoid websites where you might be tempted to purchase things.

Categories
Education

Is it Worth Paying for Your Education?

In the UK we are entitled to a certain amount of free education. This will include some hours in pre-school, schooling up to the age of eighteen and sometimes some higher education courses as well. This means that there is a lot of scope for free education which most people will take advantage of. However, there are extra courses that you can do that you can pay for and you can pay for preschool and schooling as well if you want to. But is it worth it?

Paying for preschool

Many parents pay for preschool care for their children. This is because there are only a few hours available for free and they might want their children to be in for longer. This could be because they are working and need the child to be cared for or because they feel like it will be better for the child to have the extra education. They may also choose to just have their child in for a few hours but pick a type of nursery that is not available free of charge. This might be because it is nearer to them, comes recommended or has a particular teaching style that they particularly approve of.

Paying for schooling

When it comes to school between the ages of 4 and 18 many people will use state schools as they are free. However, there are some people that will pay for their children to be in school. This might be because they feel that they will get a better education as a result of paying for education or it might be because they want their children to board in school so that they can work and do not have to worry about childcare. This is probably one of the most expensive types of education to pay for and parents may end up having to rely on trust funds from grandparents or even borrowing money in order to pay for it. Most parents that do pay for this type of education for their children had that type of education themselves and feel that it is well worth the money. However, it is often the case that those that have never experienced it cannot understand the value in it, especially as there are many children from state schools, especially grammars that get very good exam results without paying.

Paying for university

University is something that we all have to pay for if we want to attend. There are student loans available which will cover the cost of the fees for all students. There are also loans available to cover living expenses for those students from less well-off families, although this may not be enough to cover everything that they need still. This means that university is something that has to be thought about very carefully. The loans are available throughout life, so there is no rush to get them right away but you can only use the opportunity once, so not only is it important to time it right so that you do not waste the opportunity and study when you are not ready but you need to choose the right subject as well.

Paying for extra courses

Sometimes there might be other courses that we want to do, which are not available for free. If we are lucky, we might be able to get all of the training that we need through work, but this is not always a possibility. Therefore, it can be worth thinking about whether it is worth financing it.

With all courses, it is good to consider what effect it will have on your salary earning potential. If you feel that it will increase your chances of a better paid job then it will be a good investment, however, if you feel that it will make no difference then it is worth questioning whether it is worth doing. Of course, sometimes we just want to learn something new for fun and then the spend is less of a career investment and more of a fun hobby. With school, parents will be the ones paying for their children future and again hoping that it will enable their careers to progress more successfully as a result. It can be a gamble and obviously for some people the option is just not available as they do not have the money to do it. Often with schooling, it can be more to do with the attitude and effort that the child puts in rather than the actual school that they go to. This could be helped by certain teachers as well as parental encouragement and so it may depend on how hands on parents want to be or have the time to be as to whether they feel they could do the job as well as paying for help. Some parents might pay for tutors to help out which will be considerably cheaper than paying for schooling and will mean that if there is a specific area where they need extra help that they will get it that way.