A few taps on your mobile and that handbag, those kids' clothes or this kitchen gadget is on its way to you. Very convenient with busy lives and little time to go to the shops. Or when the shops are shut because of lockdown! But when money is tight or you want to save for something important, or you are just bored with being at home all the time, it can be just too easy to overspend. … [Read more...]
Budgeting & Savings
Good budgeting is the cornerstone of dealing with debts. The basics are covered in Top tips for simple & realistic budgeting that works.
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.
And having some savings will make it easier to stick to a budget month after month, rather than having a crisis every time an unexpectedly large expense happens.
Have you made some New Year Resolutions about savings, budgeting or debts for 2021? 2020 has been a strange year for many millions of people's finances. Half the country is better off, half is worse off. Some have gained from losing their commute costs and not being able to go on holiday or eat out as much. Others have seen their business destroyed or lost their job. And many are still in … [Read more...]
Want to lose weight or get fit? A depressing number of people found they were eating and drinking more in 2020 because of the lockdowns. So millions of people will have this as their main New Year's Resolution for 2021. In many areas gyms are closed. That may be good news as too many people who join a gym in a fit of enthusiasm in January go once or twice in February and then hardly at … [Read more...]
Want to be better with money in 2021? If you ate, drank and sat on the sofa far too much over Christmas, you may be thinking of detoxing your body and getting fit. A Money Detox is the same approach for your finances if your bank balance looks sick and your credit card bill looks bloated. Perhaps this isn't just a nice-to-do but you NEED to be better, because you have lost your job or … [Read more...]
Having a cheap holiday at home may not sound a lot of fun. If you are trying to blitz down your debts (is that one of your New Year resolutions?) it can be a huge gain. If your credit card is maxed out you may not have an option - but you can make a deliberate decision about what you do instead. By "at home" here, I mean in your own home! Not what the newspapers have taking to calling a … [Read more...]
Should you have money left each month but it just seems to vanish? If you are paying off debts, you may still want to put a bit aside so it's easier to cope with unexpected problems. This article looks at Plum and Chip, two apps that take the hard work out of saving. They move small amounts that you won't miss from your bank account into a savings account several times a month. I like them … [Read more...]
A reader asked: "A friend said not to pay my defaulted debts off but save money towards a deposit for a mortgage - is this a good idea?" It's often unwise to rely on friends for debt advice... They may be guessing, their situation may have been quite different from yours, or they may be assuming what happened to them years ago is still useful today. But they may know nothing about the current … [Read more...]
If you want to cut your expenses, food should be high up on your list. Food shopping is a large part of most people's budgets and it's also one that you have a lot of control over. It's not easy or quick to cut what you spend on rent, council tax or transport costs, but adopting a few new food habits can help you reduce your grocery bill and still eat well. Plan, plan, plan Planning is the … [Read more...]
A lot of personal finance advice starts out with “Everyone needs an emergency fund”. A survey showed that a third of middle-class families couldn’t pay an unexpected bill of £500 without borrowing, so the lack of savings is a very widespread problem. But what if you already have debts that you are paying off? Accumulating an emergency fund will delay clearing the debts … but having a rainy day … [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...]