Money management is essential whether you’re in debt or just juggling your household costs. These are our top money management tips, to help you stay in control of your finances.
Make a budget
Making a budget is the first step to managing your money. It clearly shows you your income and what you need to spend money on each month.
Budget for one-off expenses
Some expenses only happen occasionally, such as Christmas. Work out how much you spend over the year on these then divide that amount by 12. You can put this money away each month until the expense or bill is due.
Save your money
You should consider saving some money every month as this will help you budget for any emergencies, or will help you plan for a secure financial future. Even if you only save a small amount each month you’ll find that it quickly adds up.
Monitor your bank account
Make sure you’re checking your bank account regularly. By doing this you’ll be able to check that there’s enough money to cover your direct debits or bills. Check your direct debits If you pay things by direct debit make sure you know what you’re paying for. Check you aren’t still paying for any services you don’t use any more.
Using cash will help you control your spending. If you’re going shopping or having a day out, take the amount you can afford to spend with you in cash and leave your debit card at home. This way you won’t go over budget as you can only spend what you’ve got.
Regularly review your budget
The price of food, household bills, travel and other living costs can increase over time. That’s why it’s important to regularly review your budget. This’ll help you spot areas in your spending where you can save money. It also means that your budget is a true reflection of your situation as it is right now.
Keep track of when contracts are due to end
When you start or renew a contract, whether it’s a phone bill, energy bill or other subscription, write down the date of when it’s due to end. This’ll help you remember to check for a better deal before your contract ends. Letting your contract lapse can mean that you end up paying extra money over time.
Cut back on your spending
You don’t need to make big changes to your lifestyle to save money. Cutting back on the little things you buy can make a big difference. For example, if you spend £2.00 on a coffee every week day this adds up to £520 every year. Other ways to save include:
- Checking price comparison sites to see if you can switch to a cheaper energy supplier
- Switching to a cheaper supermarket to save money on food shopping and meals
- Cutting back on subscriptions such as broadband and digital TV packages
- Shop around for better deals on clothes
Check for ways you can make extra money
Could you take on a second job that works around your current lifestyle? Have you checked to see if there are additional benefits you’re entitled to? If you use a cashback website every time you buy an item online, you can make small amounts of money each time and save it towards one-off expenses such as Christmas and birthdays.
Before buying something, decide whether you actually really need it, or if it’s an item you could get by without. If you feel it’s something you really need, shop around at stores and online to find the best deals.