Have you made some New Year Resolutions for 2020 - or even for the new decade? Millions of people in Britain want to improve their finances - start saving, clear debts, pay less interest, get a better credit rating etc. I think it's a good idea to ask yourself what you would like to change in 2020. If you carry on doing the same, then you probably aren't going to succeed with those … [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.
Want to be better with money in 2020? If you eat and 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 is looking sick and your credit cards bill looking bloated. Perhaps this isn't just a nice-to-do but you NEED to be better, because you have lost your … [Read more...]
Want to lose weight or get fit in 2020? Millions of people will have that as their main New Year's Resolution. Don't rush out join a gym... It's the most expensive of all the options and most people give up after a few weeks. Here are some suggestions, all free or low cost. The aim is to spend as little as possible until you find out what will suit you and fit with your life. Walk your … [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...]
Do you find it hard or impossible to save? many people feel they ought to be able save but always fail when they try. others are saving for a big goal but not as fast as they want. if you are struggling with money, you may desperately want a small emergency savings pot to make life a bit less stressful. There isn't a simple answer - no way is easy for everyone. What works for one … [Read more...]
You need something that puts you in control of your spending. Your grandparents used to budget using a pencil and paper. But they didn't have contactless cards and mobile bills and overdrafts and credit cards and takeaways... Now many people find it harder to budget and feel they have lost control. For a budget to make your life easier, it has to be simple, not time-consuming and … [Read more...]
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...]
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...]