Handle your money well and frugally; many people already do this and are busy with it every day. However, there are still a number of things that are overlooked by many Dutch people. This article therefore lists the best tips for managing money well and frugally.
Money, money, money
Money can be a major source of stress, whether you live alone or in a family. It is therefore important to manage money well and to have some control over your monthly income and expenses. Five tips to help you with this:
1. Housekeeping book
It is a bit old-fashioned, but a household book is an absolute must in every family (of whatever composition)! It is not necessary to keep track of exactly how much you paid for every little errand you do, but the idea is that you will not be faced with any unexpected surprises at the end of the month. Therefore, map out in broad terms what your income is and what your expected expenses are. Consider fixed costs such as rent or mortgage and of course also energy costs. You can also factor in things like telephone costs, groceries and free time. With a clear overview, you know roughly what you have to spend, so you won’t incur any additional expenses. Those who find it difficult to spend money ‘within the lines’ can put money in a ‘pot’ every week, for example for groceries. For example, a family with a child must be able to survive on 100 euros in groceries every week. If you run out of money before the week is over, you know you’re spending too much on (unnecessary) things. If there is any money left over, you can spend it on something fun or save it. Read more about AFAS’s (free) online housekeeping booklet here.
2. Economical with energy and water
Energy costs vary enormously per supplier. It is therefore good to figure out how much you can save on your bill. There are also options for people who have signed a long-term contract; You can ‘buy yourself out’ from an energy company for a maximum of 250 euros. Especially in these times (energy prices have fallen enormously), this can be beneficial. Using energy and water sparingly is also something that must be done in and around the house. For example, purchase a water-saving tap and shower head; this saves tens of euros every year. There are many tips and tricks to save energy in and around the house; You can find them at www.nuonenergiebesparen.nl, among others
3. Every little bit helps
Don’t feel frugal or perhaps stingy when you ‘look after the little ones’. For example, purchase stamps from the supermarket can be very affordable and save you money. Preparing your own lunch instead of buying it or growing vegetables in your own garden are very good things to save money on. It can also be very useful to thoroughly review all your expenses; For example, can you call cheaper and are there any costs that you can claim or receive allowances for? Every year, millions of euros of money are ‘thrown away’ by people who do not pay attention to ‘the little things’.
4. Shop cheaply
You can save a lot on daily shopping. Therefore, check the offers from various supermarkets at the beginning of a week and buy in bulk if there are good offers. There is a lot of room for savings, especially on groceries such as diapers, drinks and toilet paper. It is also worth buying some products at cheaper supermarkets such as Aldi or Lidl. Many local supermarkets often heavily discount products when they are almost past their expiry date. Shopping for ‘red stickers’ can be very cheap; make sure you don’t do your shopping every week, but every day. For large expenses, it is always best to compare products first. Don’t just do business with a contractor without waiting for another offer and don’t buy the first stroller you see without checking where it is cheapest.
5. Save for later
Make sure you have a decent amount of savings on hand for ‘times of need’. For example, losing your job can mean a huge drop in income, but the washing machine breaking down or other unforeseen expenses can also have a financial impact on your budget. Always put savings in a savings account so that you get good interest on it. Savings can last you a few months in the future, but it is also good for purchasing something large such as a car, a holiday or a house. Do not borrow money for such large expenses; This can literally cost you dearly.