How do you spot the real bargains and avoid buying things you will later regret? The human brain is very good at processing lots of information fast by grabbing hold of important facts early on and letting them dominate decisions. That was perfect when we were out hunting for food and living in caves, but in a shopping mall or online it can go badly wrong! Lots of shouty Sale signs and money … [Read more...]
Budgeting and debt
Good budgeting is the cornerstone of dealing with debts. If your debts aren't out of control but you want to pay them off as quickly as possible, taking control of what you spend will help you get there faster. If you are struggling it's vital that you don't waste any money at all!
The basics are covered in Smarter Budgeting, then follow that up with some of these articles looking at specific areas.
Here are some ideas to cut down what you spend this year on Christmas. It's not worth getting into more debt for one day which will make all of 2019 much harder for you. With just over a month to go this is a good time to be starting to plan. Finding ideas for cheap presents in mid-December can be too late to get them delivered in time - even Amazon Prime's one-day delivery often lets you down … [Read more...]
Are you worrying about how to afford the heating this year after the price rises in 2018? The good news is millions may be able to get £140 off their electricity bill through the Warm Home Discount scheme if they are on a low income. Five points for applying for a Warm Home Discount The key points for making a Warm Home Discount application in 2018 are: Pensioners do not need to apply, … [Read more...]
Affording school uniforms can be very difficult for any parents on low incomes - if you are in debt it can be a nightmare. A Citizens Advice survey found that a quarter of all parents have to borrow money to afford uniforms. This isn't just a financial problem. Children who aren't wearing "the right uniform" are at risk of being stigmatised or bullied. Government is making the right … [Read more...]
Do you have money problems because you get paid at different times to when your bills need paying? Or does your pay burn a hole in your pocket so you can't save? Here are some typical things I hear: "I get paid every 4 weeks and it's hard to make sure money is in the account when monthly direct debits come out"; "We spend too much at the start of the month and have nothing left for the … [Read more...]
Are you wondering how to keep your children happily occupied at the lowest possible cost all through the summer holiday? Here is a pile of ideas, including a lot of new ones for 2018, and they are mostly free or pretty cheap. A summer bucket list? Why not create a summer holiday bucket list and pin it to the fridge or noticeboard? try to cross one off a day... they don't all have to be big or … [Read more...]
Here is my pick of apps and other #FinTech (Financial Technology) products that help you budget and save if you live in the UK. They are aimed at people who are short of money. It doesn't include apps getting you to invest in the stock market. But if every month is a struggle, you find it hard to manage on the money you have, leave enough in your account to pay the bills and have a small … [Read more...]
In a Money Detox, you want to find and eliminate the things that are poisoning your finances right now - and then look for ways to make the rest of the year easier and less stressful. These seven ideas here are aiming for the biggest long-term gains with the least pain. You don't have to have a debt problem for these ideas to be useful. They will also help if you are saving a house deposit or … [Read more...]
Want to lose weight or get fit as one of your 2018 New Year's resolutions? Don't rush out and buy a gym membership or a fitbit. Spend as little as possible until you find out what will work in your life. Here are a pile of ideas, all free or low cost. There's one for you whether you want to walk more or run to escape from zombies, if you need a 12 minute power workout or you are looking for … [Read more...]
Piggy banks are not just the cute pig-shaped money jars for kids. Piggy banking is also a system of dividing your money into different ‘pots’, or accounts. It is also known as "jam jar accounting" or "the envelope method". Each pot represents a different aspect of your life you need money for. So, for example, you might have one account for your most important bills such as the mortgage or … [Read more...]