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A kitchen budget could help you save money, as gas and electricity prices continue to rise

Cut back on appliance costs to save money  16000646 800474078 0 0 7025928 300

If you get to the end of the week wondering where all the money you had went, then it might be time to put a financial plan into action and look for ways to cut back on your daily spending.

An effective way to work out how and where you spend those extra pennies is by comparing monthly bank statements.

Most people have itemised statements that categorise spending habits into different groups such as transport, daily living costs and loans.

However, if your particular financial institution does not provide this service then by taking the time to read through your statements for the last three month period, it will quickly become apparent when and why you are withdrawing money.

You can then use this information to work out approximately how much of your income is spent on essentials, tax-deductible goods or services as well as splurge items.

Once you have identified the many ways you spend money then it is easy to compare your total income with the amount that is regularly leaving your account and put together an action plan.

Also, it is worthwhile setting a realistic savings target in order to make sure that you do not attempt to implement a budget that is simply unachievable - individuals who do things like this often fail because they make the challenge too hard and are not able to stick to their daily, weekly and monthly targets, which can often lead to feelings of failure.

Making small changes is also a good idea, as these will be easier to put in place and regular successes will encourage you to save more.

For example, setting yourself a goal to cut back on the amount of takeaway coffee you purchase is relatively straightforward and could lead to major savings over the course of a year without having a significant impact on your day.

Another smart tip is to quickly identify your weaknesses - if you find it difficult to walk past a department store without buying something, then actively avoiding these destinations may help turn unwanted purchases into savings.

Homeowners may find that if they consolidate debt into one streamlined home loan it is easier to keep on top of their finances and, therefore, budget.

However, with rising electricity prices placing additional pressure on families, taking the time to compare providers could result in long savings where it is otherwise difficult to get ahead.