dollar-941246_640It’s not easy to manage your finances, and it can be daunting knowing where to start. In an attempt to help you brush up on your finance skills, here are some of the best ways to keep your money in check. Although we can’t guarantee they’ll work over night, they’re a good start. We’ll look at both conventional saving ideas such as budgeting, and then more unusual means like learning to negotiate. If you want to make the art of saving money more exciting (we know it isn’t easy), why not challenge your friends to try these five tips too.

Finance Spreadsheet

Granted this doesn’t sound very exciting at all, but listing all your coming and going payments will make minding your money a lot easier. Spreadsheets are probably one of the most convenient and neatest ways to record all your finances, however, not everyone appreciates such a stodgy approach. If that’s you, why not create a finance board. It works the same as the spreadsheet, only it is confined by tables and equations.

Negotiate Your Data Plan

The sad reality is that our smartphones, as appealing as they are, cost a lot of money – we need lots of data to check emails and download apps, we want unlimited texts to connect with friends, and extra minutes never hurt anyone. What makes matters worse is that you can’t easily pick and choose your data plan, meaning you often get stuck with features you don’t need in order to have the ones you do. This is where negotiating becomes key. If you’re an existing customer you’re in a better position to haggle over what you want in order to stay with the company; it isn’t easy, but it can be very successful once the technique is perfected.

Involve Your Friends

We don’t mean ask your friends for a loan or anything like that, what we mean is that working together as a group can make huge financial differences. By arranging a night in instead of a night out you can enjoy a wide array of entertainment without hefty costs. You can have a movie marathon, get in a few beverages and catch up with friends, or play co-op mode Call Of Duty on your console. You can also game using websites like Lucky Nugget Casino which are known for specialising in online slots, making it a great destination to play a casual game or two. As LNC is a Microgaming site that has been around since 1998, you know it is both reputable and will only provide the highest quality games on the market.

Bargain Hunting Apps

We’re talking about coupon and discount apps that can make eating out or purchasing a new item a lot cheaper than normal. Brands like Wowcher are a great example of how you can save a lot of money by shopping around and utilising a wide array of discounts. Apps might not always accommodate to everything you need, but they can certainly help out every now and again. Best of all, by downloading a handy widget you can receive notifications instantaneously.

Budget

This probably seems like a really common point to make, but saying you’ll budget and actually doing it are two very different things. It’s far too easy to be controlled by your wants and let an impulse buy take hold. The key is to be firm with yourself: if you only budget to spend £100 a week, don’t deviate from this amount. It can be challenging, but strict budgeting works wonders alongside all of the above.