Building healthy habits starts with little steps, especially when it comes to smartening up your money routine. Not sure where to start? We’ve put together a quick-win money routine and broken it down into a daily, weekly, and monthly check-list, so it’s easier than ever to get started and then get things done.
Have a look and see how many you can tick off today – and tomorrow.
1. Check in with your money
Take 5 minutes every day to see where you’re at. It’s not always easy facing your bank balance, but if you avoid it, things only get worse. Make a habit of checking in on your balance and your budgets with your morning coffee, so you can turn it into a routine. That way you won’t forget, and you’ll be all set for the day ahead.
2. Bring in your lunch
A fiver here, a tenner there. Last year Yolt users spent an average of £73 on lunch every month. By taking some time to prepare a packed lunch in the evening, you could save a lot over the months. Don’t believe it’s worth it? Set a Lunch budget in Yolt, and then check in each day to stay on track.
3. Give up your day coffee
You’ve probably heard it before, but giving up your daily fix really could save you the big bucks in the long run. Not ready to give it up? Invest in a keep cup and bring in your own hot brew – or find out which of your favourite coffee shops give a green discount for bringing in your own cup.
4. Cycle or walk to work
Save on that bus or train fare and get some fresh air while you’re at it. Challenge yourself to walk or cycle all (or some) of your commute once a week. So, whether you’re commuting by train or car, there’s lots of saving opportunity. Bonus tip: don’t forget to check if your workplace has a cycle-to-work scheme. If cycling or walking isn't an option, you can still tap into some potential savings by looking at what railcards or bus passes are out there.
5. Ditch a weekly take-away
Everyone loves a Tuesday take-away, but opting for too many food deliveries could see your Eating out budget turn red. Cook a nice meal instead, and save splashing the cash for a meal out you really want (or why not put it towards a goal you’ve been saving for?).
6. Plan your meals and cook them
While we're on the topic of dinner, why not plan your meals ahead, so you have delicious dinners to look forward to? Write up a weekly meal plan, so you know exactly where you stand with your Groceries budget. And best of all, any leftovers can go into that packed lunch.
7. Do a weekly shop
If you're planning your meals, you'll need a grocery list. You can get smart with your visits to the supermarket by shopping in bulk whenever you can. Aim to do your food shop once a week, and avoid popping into small shops more regularly – that’s how costs can rack up. You can get more tips on tightening up your grocery shop here.
8. Practise money mindfulness
Money is one of the top causes of stress across the globe. When it comes to managing your stress and money alike, real change comes from within. So, if you’re serious about shaking up your money habits, it’s never a bad idea to take some time to figure out what you’re really aiming for. Give yourself just 10 minutes a week to check in with your money goals, bank balance, and budgets – it can help relieve some serious money stress and save you money in the long run, too. We've got heaps of money mindfulness tips for you.
9. Set a monthly budget
It may seem obvious, but setting a monthly budget is a simple way to make sure you stay on track. Do this in a way that works for you. You can set a top-level budget or spending target for the whole month, or break down your spending goals into smaller, category-based budgets. One for groceries, one for leisure time – you get the idea. You can easily do both in Yolt by setting up your Left to Spend tile, so you can see your income, and any upcoming predicted debits throughout the month. With budget categories, you can track exactly what you spent when and where.
10. Compare the options available
From electricity bills to current accounts, it’s always good to check in and make sure you’re getting the right option for you – and to see where you could save by switching things up. When it comes to bills and subscriptions, costs can creep up, so keep an eye on those direct debits in Yolt.
11. Cancel your unused subscriptions
Speaking of subscriptions, do you know how much your monthly subscriptions are costing you? If you haven’t been to the gym in a while, or that streaming service is going left unused, cancel it. It may be hard to believe, but the average Brit is expected to lose over £30,000 to unused direct debits over their lifetime. You can use Yolt to track down any unused direct debits and free up your money for better use.
12. Future proof your money
From saving accounts, to investments and pensions, there are lots of options out there for doing Future You a favour. Think about setting up a direct debit once a month to a savings account, ISA, or pension – or all three. If you start early, even a humble top-up every month could mean more money in the long run, thanks to interest. Learn more about future-proofing with top tips from the experts.
It doesn’t have to be all or nothing. If you don’t follow your goals for one week, it doesn’t mean you should quit completely. Reassess your goals frequently, and take it day by day, week by week, and month by month.
Stay on track
At Yolt, we're on a mission to empower everyone to be smart with their money. Sync your accounts, see your spending clearly, and set easy budgets with our smart thinking money app. Get Yolt for free and give it go.