What would you do with an extra £200 a month?
That's what most people find when they first create a personal budget plan. Read on to see how this 30-minute exercise can help you save more, and worry much less. Understanding your finances is critical in lowering money-worries and associated stress.
Type One Diabetes is an extremely expensive condition.
At Type One Style, we're big on mental well-being and positivity. But give a man a fish, and he eats for a day, teach him to fish, and he eats for life. The same principle applies here.
No one will give you or me £200 - most charities won't either. But we can teach you how to save £200 a month, and you can use this knowledge for the rest of your life.
Managing our money month to month is hard enough already! Over 90% of us have never seen a personal budget, let alone made one, so we're almost living blindly with our finances.
When you factor in test strips, pumps, lancets, your Freestyle Libre or Dexcom, wipes, adhesive patches, kitbags, and more, it gets ridiculous.
We can improve our mental well-being by getting on top of our finances. By creating a personal budget and forecasting the diabetes supplies you need, like your CGM and other life costs, you can relax knowing what is covered and when.
Six steps to create your personal budget and find your £200 a month
1 - Gather up all of your bills, statements, loans, and everything from everywhere, for the last 3-6 months. You should have something to show for every penny leaving your life.
2 - Calculate your income per month. For most of us, it's just our monthly pay.
3 - Make a big list of your fixed expenses each month: mortgage, car payments, Dexcom, Omnipod, fuel bill, phone costs, etc.
4 - Make a big list of your variable expenses each month. Food shopping, eating out, gifts, device stickers, clothing, and other things that change month to month.
5 - Add everything up! You should have a figure for your total income and total expenses. Now, deduct your expenses from your income. If you have a positive number, congratulations - you've got spare cash! If you have a negative number, it's time to start cutting costs.
6 - Start slashing your expenses. Here are some examples:
- Let's say you spend £200 a month on food. Change that to £150, and then see if you can save £12.50 a week on shopping - that's reasonable, agree? That's £650 a year.
- When did you last switch electric, gas, and water providers? Switching is common in the UK, and most people save £300 a year in total.
- What about your phone? Again, a popular UK tip is phoning up your provider and telling them you're going to leave for a competitor. You'll get a new offer at £10 a month less, or more. That's £120 a year.
- Do the same with your internet provider. If you're paying £30 a month now, you can switch to a £20 a month provider. That's another £120 a year.
- How much do you spend on clothes and going out? Let's say you spend £200 a month. That's £120 on clothes, and two £40 nights out or trips to the pub. Half it. Think of it as investing in your mental health for £100 a month. That's £1,200 a year.
- And lastly, takeaways and eating out. How many pizzas do you order a year? The average take-out pizza is £15 versus a £3 supermarket one. If you're getting one a month, you're spending £180 a year on pizza and could be paying just £36 in the supermarket. That's £144 a year.
If all of the above applies to you, don't worry. Your quality of life won't change very much, if at all. But, you'll be £2,384 a year better off.
That's £198 a month you've just unlocked. If you got a promotion at work and pay 20% income tax, you'd need to earn an extra £3,000 a year to take home the same money.
Now, find out what matters to you.
You can always save this money up and go on holiday; it's all up to you. Plan what you want and need to buy, like CGM supplies, clothes, and significant upcoming expenses, and add those items in for the next 12 months.
If you're going to do all of the above, it will take maybe 3 hours, with all of the phone calls. If you save £2,384, you've earned £794 per hour. Pretty good!
We sincerely hope that this article helps you discover the money you didn't know you had and helps to pay for your Dexcom G6, Insulin, or other essential parts of your life.
We did this, and it changed our lives. We want you to benefit from this too.
Here are some resources, free templates, and further reading for the topic:
- Creating a Budget with a Personal Budget Spreadsheet (bankofamerica.com)
- Money Saving Expert: Credit Cards, Shopping, Bank Charges, Cheap Flights and more
- Budget Planner | Free online budget planning tool | MoneyHelper
- How to budget - Which?
- How to Make a Personal Budget in 8 Easy Steps | 2022 | Bungalow