It seems fair to say that we have all fallen a little out of step with our usual routines over the past eighteen months or so, especially when it comes to our practices and our budgets. We have spent the last year and a half in a state of recoil, doing our best to rebound from every new challenge that we face. The summer was something different, however. We emerged from lockdown, some of us met post-lockdown anxiety, and others went the other way and splurged as they got back into the swing of things. It is undoubtedly hard to begrudge anyone for blowing their budget this autumn, catching up on all the things they could not do during the lockdown, but as we head into the next few months, a lot of these choices need to be answered for.

Any professional knows that you can never take anything for granted. We have seen during the pandemic how quickly things can change, and anyone who has been keeping an eye on the news will know that things will be as challenging as ever in the months to come. The twin forces of Brexit and the pandemic will continue to make our lives difficult, and it is time to get serious about taking control of your routine and your budget this autumn. If you are struggling to shake off the summer daze and get your business mindset back in gear, here are some tips to help you get started.

Map Out A Routine And Stick To It

We have used the word “routine” a few times already, but you will need to turn that word into reality sooner rather than later. Creating a daily planner for yourself is one of the best things you can do if you want to get your head back in the game. Something as simple as making sure that you are getting up at the same time every day can make a huge difference. Something else that you should consider is making sure that you are getting fresh air and exercise daily.

If heading back into the office, think about walking or cycling to work instead of driving or getting the bus. If you are working from home still, don’t just roll out of bed into your office chair. Get up half an hour or an hour earlier and go for a brisk walk or a jog. Try to step away from work simultaneously every day and do your best to make sure that once you sign off for the day, you don’t check your work phone or emails.

Get To Grips With Your Budget This Autumn

The summer splurge has been a big part of the holiday break for many people out there, but the news about the kind of winter we could be facing has brought us all back to earth with a bump. If you want to make sure that you are covered in what could be some challenging months ahead, having a crystal-clear idea of what your budget this autumn is will be very important.

So, start simple by going through all of your incomings and outgoings. Include everything from mortgage repayments or rent and your regular bills to the weekly supermarket trip and the coffee you buy on the way to work. Think about what can be trimmed as we head into the leaner autumn and winter months, whether that is taking coffee and a packed lunch with you to work or cutting down on the number of nights out with your friends in any given month. Start making meal plans to cut down on those last-minute takeaways during the week.

Identify Savings Opportunities

Of course, getting to grips with your budget is not all about looking for costs that you can cut out of your life entirely. It’s also about figuring out how you can look for smarter deals that will save you money. That means doing things like getting online and comparing energy prices across a range of different suppliers. Are you spending too much on your broadband, given how much you use it? Take a look at your mortgage and see if you are in a position to negotiate a more favourable rate of interest and look at your other outstanding debt repayments to see if you could whittle some down more aggressively to help boost your credit score. 

You should also be looking to see if you are paying too much for your phone plan. SIM-only plans cut out so many unnecessary expenses, and they can save you a lot of stress about worrying that you are going over your monthly allowance. Lebara offers a range of different SIM-only plans, and their network runs on Vodafone. They also offer international minutes.

Remember To Take Care Of Yourself

When we start thinking about getting our lives together and getting into a better, more rigorously planned routine, many of us tend to slip into a pattern that is a little self-punishing. While there needs to be a certain amount of determination to get rid of some of those bad habits, it is also important to remember that things are really tough out there and that we have all been through a huge amount over the past year and a half. 

The studies about how the pandemic has impacted our mental health cannot be ignored. You need to keep checking on how you are doing if you want to avoid pushing yourself into a situation where you are approaching burnout. Even if you are cutting down on nights out, keep talking to your friends and family and keep getting that face time in. Make sure you are giving yourself plenty of downtime and ensure that you are getting enough sleep. Think about talking to someone if you are struggling in the more challenging winter months. 

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As an experienced business and finance writer I understand the corporate landscape and the driving forces behind it. Over the years I’ve shared my insight and knowledge with key industry publications and dedicated my time to showing how business leaders can make their organisations more effective.