Looking after our finances  

Finances are often the biggest source of stress for many of us. Managing our money better can help relieve a lot of our anxieties.  

Being in lockdown gives us a chance to review our finances and see where we can cut back.  

Working out your budget 

Working out your budget may seem dull; however, it will make your life much easier once it’s done. 

Understanding your finances is key to managing your money.  

Below are online budget planners. These save you doing all the calculations yourself!  

The Money Advice Service Budget Planner 

Citizens Advice Budget Planner 

Being paid weekly can sometimes make it difficult to manage your bills that come in monthly.  

Aim to put money aside each week ready for when the bills come in. Rather than taking a large chunk out of your paycheck the week the bills are due.  

It may be useful to have a separate bank account specifically for bills and set up a direct debit each week.   

Managing your spending  

Stick to your budget. 

Perhaps the most important tip. Following your budget will help to keep your spending on track. 

Track your spending. 

The coffee’s and lunches may only seem like a small purchase, but it can all add up over time. Most banks have online banking apps, this allows you to check what you’re spending as you spend.  

Write a shopping list and stick to it. 

It can be easy to get carried away in the supermarket, by creating a list it helps you to avoid getting distracted by other items. Online grocery shopping helps you look at the deals.  

Save for the treats. 

Save up each week to treat yourself. This will avoid making a big dent in your paycheck. Try limiting yourself to a time frame; for example, ‘I’ll buy one new pair of shoes every month’. Giving yourself a goal can help keep you motivated.  

Don’t save card details online. 

When your card details are saved online it can lead to more impulsive purchases.  

Pay off your loans and bills before doing anything else. 

It can be easy to let those bank statements pile up. But leaving them often leads to more stress and worry.  

Try to save regularly. 

As most of us are going out less, we can save more. Putting aside a small amount of money each week can help for the future. It may be for a future treat or for if something goes unexpectedly wrong. 

Unsubscribe from emails or texts

We can get tempted by the deals that we get sent by takeaway services or clothing companies. The ‘deals’ often aren’t saving you any money as if you didn’t receive the message, you probably never would’ve ordered!  

Look at where you can cut back. 

Whether this is cancelling a subscription or bringing your own lunch instead of buying it out, these small changes can make a big difference over time.  

Limit your credit card usage. 

It can be easy to become dependent on credit cards. If they’re a problem, try to avoid them or limit yourself to one.  

If you are worried about debt 

If you are worried, it’s important to address the situation. There is always s solution to debt problems, the quicker you address it, the quicker it can be sorted. Here is a 3 step guide of what to do and where to get help if you need it.  

Where else to get financial advice 

If you feel you need more professional financial advice there are many organisations that can help you: 

The Money Advice Service has information for anything money related. Whether its advice on mortgages, budgeting, or pensions everything is there. They also have a phone service and web chat you can use to get free confidential advice.  

The Money Saving Expert has advice for any money queries that you may have.  

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