Top Tips for Managing your Money
Managing your money better can help you to stay on top of your bills and may even save you £s every year which you can use to pay off debts, add it to your pension or spend it on a holiday or car.
Read our top tips to make your money go further:
Create a budget
- Make sure you budget for once a year expenditure such as Christmas, birthdays, National Insurance and car tax. Put the money in jam jars or a separate account if it helps.
- If you are a seasonal worker, make sure you put money aside during your busy period to cover the bills when you are not working.
- Use our online budgeting tool. It provides an easy way to check your finances.
Review your bills and payments
- Gas, electric, broadband, landlines and internet are often on 12, 18 or 24 month contracts. Know when yours expires and then shop around for better deals rather than just carrying on. Don’t switch early though as you may pay a fee. Your current provider has to tell you when your contract expires if you ask.
- Go through your bank statements and make sure you cancel old policies and subscriptions that you no longer want or can’t afford.
- Ask your water provider if you can get a water meter – they’re free to fit and can often save you money.
- Shop around before renewing insurance policies. You can nearly always get a better deal than the automatic renewal that’s offered to you. Check whether your policy is due for automatic renewal and make sure you cancel it in time.
Be money aware
- Check your bank statements regularly to see where your money is going and where you can cut costs.
- Keep a spending diary for a couple of weeks to see where your cash is going. You may be surprised how much you really spend on food or clothes! Visit Tools to Help you Manage your Money to download your own spending diary.
- Work out how much you need to save each week for essential expenditure and make sure you put that money away first. Change the dates of direct debits to come out after your money has gone in so they get first call on your money.
- If you need to replace anything, shop around first then check out the prices for the same model on the internet.
- Make a menu plan and shopping list for the week ahead. Only buy what’s on your list and don’t be tempted by other goodies! Never go shopping when you are hungry!
- Freeze whatever you can and only thaw what you need e.g. bread keeps much longer if you slice and freeze it – thaw out as many slices as you need. If you only use half a bag of carrots, freeze the rest so they don’t go to waste.
You can also read our ‘Maximising Income and Minimising Expenditure tips‘ for further ideas:
- Click here for tips on how to maximise your income
- Click here for tips on how to minimise your expenditure
Getting ready for Christmas?
- Use our free Budgeting Tool to review your long term financial situation to help you become more able to cope with emergencies and to plan for the future. Spending an hour or two to review your finances can make a huge difference.
- Follow our Christmas budgeting tips to help you save money at Christmas.
- Use this online interactive tool from the Money Advice Service to plan your Christmas budget.
If you would like further help, our team of debt and money advisers can work with you to manage your money. Please call 0800 093 8543 or complete the contact form and we will get back to you. Our office hours are Monday and Wednesday 10am – 5pm and Tuesday, Thursday and Friday 9am – 5pm.