First job finance – 10 tips to help you stretch your budget beyond pay day

first job finance tips

If you’ve just landed your first job, congratulations! It may be tempting to spend all that money but you’ll feel much better buying things you know you can afford without getting into debt. Check out these top tips for helping your budget stretch the whole way through the month, not just pay day.

When pay day comes and you plan to get yourself a treat, ask yourself: need or want? Make sure you’ve got your finances covered for the things you need before splashing out on fun things like trainers.

Is all your money going on socialising? Have some social evenings in where you cook a simple meal and invite a few friends round. Pasta with onions and tomato is way cheaper than takeaway pizza.

It’s okay to say no to a social event and say why if you can’t afford it. Or you can compromise: if friends are going out for a meal and a drink, consider if your budget will stretch to you going to either the meal or the drink but not both. That way, you can socialise and still take care of your finances.

Strapped for cash? Plan your weekends around free events. You could discover a whole new interest – and just pay money for travel, if you’ve packed your own snacks or lunch.

Check out travel discount schemes to see if you can save money, especially if you’re usually making the same journey every day to and from work.

Sometimes you can save money by switching bank accounts or phone accounts.

Try to avoid using store cards. They’ll only make you want to spend more in that store. That’s what they’re designed to do.

Try to avoid using credit cards. One day you’ll want to take on a big project where it will really help to have a clean credit score – and then you will want to use a credit card, but only to show how timely you are in paying it off. If you can’t guarantee you’ll pay off what you owe on a credit card every month, it’s not worth the hassle and risk.

If you know you’ve got money worries, don’t put off until tomorrow what you could do today. The issue will only get worse if you brush it under the carpet. Tackle your finance issue head on. Make a note of what you spent and what money came in in the last month or so. Use this to see if there are areas where you can save money, and areas where you’ve been overspending and need to rein it in. Use online tips to set up your own budgeting plan. There’s no money hole so deep you can’t get out of it – you just need to be honest with yourself and approach the issue with a positive fix-it attitude.

Think about big stuff you want to splash out on in advance. If you want a new games console or holiday with your friends, set yourself a savings goal and stick to it. It’s much easier if you use this free Pounds to Pennies savings app.

Now watch the Money for Life video and test yourself! How well did you do?

Watch the videol

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