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Here are 6 clever budgeting tips that can help you set money aside for your monthly loan instalment!

It is no secret that a lot of people are in debt. Even if you haven't taken out a mortgage, or personal loans, chances are you are at least saddled with student loans. Depending on how educated you are and when you went to uni, that amount can be higher or lower, but regardless of how much it is, it's daunting, and it's a pain in your side. But if you're having trouble affording your monthly loan instalment, here are some tips on how you can budget, so that you can save enough money for your regular repayment.

1.     Track your expenses with a budgeting app

If you're technologically literate, or a fan of apps and you feel good about having all of your expense info at your fingertips, a budgeting app may be the right choice for you. There are numerous options that allow you to track where your money is going, and, best of all, they can even illustrate it for you in a neat little pie chart.

That way, you get to see the amount, but also see exactly how much it represents, compared to your total budget. This can be a very effective wake-up call if you have an issue with over-spending, over-indulging, "treating yourself" a little too much with all those take-away coffees, etc.

2.     Make a spreadsheet

If you're more of a traditionalist, then you may be more satisfied with a good ol' spreadsheet. There is a certain amount of pleasure to be derived from manually entering your expenses and being able to track every single penny spent, including cash and change. Nothing gets past you this way, and you will have a clear picture of your spending. Much like the tracking app, having this information will enable you to determine where you can cut back, whether you're wasting any money on things that don't really matter to you, etc. so you can save any unnecessary extras.

3.     Get yourself a bank account that offers interest

Does your current account offer you any interest? If not, what are you doing? You're missing out on free money that you don't have to do anything for. You see, if you shop around and browse through offers from other banks, there are options out there for current accounts that offer interest on your money. You can enjoy the benefits of a savings account, but without the limitations on taking money out.

There are some caveats, of course, such as the fact that the interest applies only to your first £1500 and the interest is around 3%. But even so, assuming you have the full amount in your account at all times, that amounts to more than £500 per calendar year, which is nothing to scoff at. Maybe if you had that extra money, you wouldn't even need long term loans in the first place!

4.     Go on a spending diet

This one may be the most difficult thing on this list - holding back and exercising restraint, when you're used to spending money indiscriminately. Look, when it really comes down to it, there are only two major ways to save money: Earn More, or Spend Less. And since making more is a tad more complex, spending less is your best - and easiest - bet.

What you need to know is that the secret to financial restraint isn't to just cut everything out; going cold turkey will just push you to over-spend after abstaining, much like binge-eating. Think of it more like a well-balanced financial diet - instead of cutting back all spending, just reduce it instead. You're allowed to have a little bit of a splurge from time to time, but if you do it too much, or too often, then you're going to have feel sick.

5.     Do your weekly food shop online

Now, if you're familiar at all with supermarket delivery services, you may be confused by this tip - don't supermarket charge you for transportation and delivery slots? Yes, they do, but trust me, that is money well spent in order to prevent you from spending more. Here's how this works. Have you ever noticed how you

go into Tesco with a short list of items that should cost you 10 quid maximum and by the time you've arrived at the till, your trolley is full and you're spending 50 quid again?

What happened is that you got distracted and enticed by the in-store shopping experience. The packaging, the offers - why get one chocolate bar for £2 when you can get two for £3.50? The right answer is "because you don't need it", but impulse buying rarely leaves time for reason. By shopping online, you are able to just follow the list and add only the items you need in your cart. No distractions!

6.     Find inexpensive ways to have fun

A significant part of your budget is probably dedicated to entertainment and going out. And while we all deserve to unwind and have fun, if it's eating into your loan instalment, then you have a problem. Between entrance fees, drinks, taxis, and new outfits, nights out can be obscenely expensive, so perhaps it's better to look for other ways to have fun; at least temporarily.

You don't have to give up on seeing your friends, having a drink, or dancing the night away - just host all the festivities at your house, instead. Everyone brings a bottle of something, maybe something to eat, put some music on and have at it! You don't even need to wear heels, and getting home at the end of the night is very easy.

As you can see, there are ways to make sure that you still have enough left at the end of the month to cover that loan instalment. Even if payday may seem far away, you don't have to go hungry until then if you are smart about budgeting and know how and when to cut back on unnecessary expenses.