Use your bank statements, receipts and invoices to draw up an accurate budget. Divide the page into two columns – expenses and income. This way you can see if you are spending more than you earn. If your expenses exceed your income, it’s time to adjust your spending habits.
Divide your expenses into two categories – essential and inessential. Essential expenses include rent or bond instalments, groceries, transport costs etc.
Anything you can live without is an inessential expense. Remind yourself of how you got into debt in the first place and be very careful about what you spend your money on. The best way to know if you really need a purchase is to give yourself a day or two to think about it. If you can go without it, avoid swiping that card!
If you budget to put away a small amount every month into a savings or investment account, you are essentially paying yourself first!