11 October 2021
Take back control of your spending
Are you completely in control of your spending? Do you know exactly what bills you have to pay each month and what expected bills you have coming up?
It probably won’t surprise you to learn that many people do not have a complete understanding of what they are spending each month. To give you an example, when we talk to our members many of them know what their energy or council tax bills are but don’t think about personal care items, such as hair or nail appointments and physio treatments, as expenditure that needs consideration. If they occur regularly they should be part of your weekly or monthly budgeting and this is where many people underestimate their actual spending habits. Lots of small amounts add up and if you don’t consider them you can find yourself short of funds before your next pay day.
What we’ve learned from talking to our members is that it can be really useful to spend some time working out your weekly or monthly expenses; you could even use an online budget planner to help you. Having a visual representation of your spending can really help you to see where you might need to reduce costs and save some money.
We work closely with Money Helper, a government advice service which provides free and impartial advice for anyone who is facing financial difficulties. They have an online budget planner which you can download and it will help you understand your spending each week or month. You will need to have as much financial information as you can to hand, as it will ask you to input details like your bank balance, and costs of monthly bills and it will provide you with a simple pie chart showing how much you are spending on things like household bills, living costs, insurance, travel, leisure and your family. It is a very useful tool and it provides personalised tips to help you make the most of your money.
You can also visit the Money Worries page on our website which has a self-referral link to Money Helper and by completing the form, one of their staff will call you to discuss how they can help you get back on track. There are also details on this page of other organisations who can help you with any financial difficulties you are facing.