Food shopping is a large part of most people's budgets and it's also one that you have a lot of control over. So if you want to cut your expenses, food should be high up on your list. 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...]
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.
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 realistic and not time-consuming. This … [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...]
If you have decided to take control of your expenditure, you may get depressed when it doesn't all go to plan. But improving your finances is a journey – one that takes time and planning. And as with all journeys, there can be stops and starts along the way. Don't let these derail your plan! I'm talking in this article about a plan to clear your problem debts. This could be forced on you if … [Read more...]
MoneySupermarket have found that on average people are being charged an extra £73 to pay their car insurance monthly. And as more than 45% of people do this. Do people realise the extra cost? The Financial Conduct Authority's Thematic Review of Provision of premium finance to retail general insurance customers may sound dull - but read on if you are one of the millions who pay for your car … [Read more...]
If you feel your money just vanishes or you are worried your budget isn't realistic, tracking your spending will give you the facts you need to take control. Without knowing what you actually spend, all too often plans to cut back are just good intentions that don't work in practice. Why you need a spending diary Many people have little idea about what they spend - it feels as though their … [Read more...]