The editor of Financially Fabulous, Caroline Bloor, answers some of your burning money questions. Whether you're looking to shop savvy when doing the weekly food shop, or thinking about saving for Christmas. Here are Caroline's top tips for helping you save, budget, and manage your money better.
"Have a rule that items stay in your online basket for 24 hours before you press buy. That way, hopefully, you'll give yourself a bit of a cooling-off period"
Financially Fabulous is a newsletter full of money-saving tips and advice and their mission is to help you take better control of your finances.
How can I start to save successfully?
The secret to this is 100% to create a budget. You need to know exactly what you've got coming in each month and exactly what it's being spent on. If you need help with that, then I would suggest visiting the money advice service website and use their budget planner, this will lead you through all the areas that you might be spending money on. The most important thing to remember is just to save something, no matter how small an amount.
How tips for curbing online shopping?
I think we're all guilty of sitting in front of the telly or sitting on the train on the way to work and just scrolling through and adding things to our basket and before you know it, you've spent a huge amount on impulse purchases over the course of the month. It's a really useful idea to go through your bank statement at the end of a month and see how much you spent on things that you weren't planning to buy.
Know when trigger points are, know when the danger times are, and try and be doing something else. Perhaps put your phone aside, knit, read a book. Have a rule that items stay in your online basket for 24 hours before you press buy then that way hopefully you'll give yourself a bit of a cooling-off period.
Top 3 tips for food shopping on a budget?
1) Plan your meals and to think about the quantities you need to supply. Think about who you are feeding and how much you need to buy. It is all too easy to over cater and then end up throwing food away.
2) Always make a shopping list, whether you're shopping online or going into store, and stick to it. That way hopefully you won't be tempted to buy impulse purchases.
3) Switch to own brand wherever possible because you could save a fortune doing this. You can do it with all the store cupboard staples. If you're buying really regularly swap them out and try the family on the own-brand version. See if they even notice!
How can I help my kids learn about money?
As a parent, you are your kid's most important financial role model. Research actually shows that the earlier you start teaching your kids about money, the better off they will be and the more rewards that they will reap. Here are some golden rules:
1) Give your kids some form of regular money and some responsibility for it.
2) Explain the difference between need and want.
3) Encourage them to save up for things.
4) Set rules around money. Tell them what they've got to spend and stick to it.
5) Let them be aware that there isn't an infinite amount of money and it's okay for you to say no.