Managing your money

We all need to juggle our finances sometimes to make ends meet or to ensure we meet our savings goals.
We have put together some useful tips you may wish to consider.

Budget Planning

Try taking a closer look at what you are spending by using a budget planner app. These can be easily found online. This will help you to see if there are any outgoings you could cut back on. Small changes to your day-to-day spending could save you money in the long run.

Take a look at the MoneyHelper Tools and Calculators for ideas.

If your income is less than your outgoings ensure your priority bills are paid first. These include mortgages or rent (arrears or monthly payments due), council tax, utilities (water, gas, electricity). Non-priority bills would be things such as unsecured loans, credit cards and catalogues. Contact companies you owe money to (your creditors) as soon as you can to make them aware of the situation. They will be able to provide you with options.

It may be useful to review the list of Direct Debits and Standing Orders on your bank account. Are there any which are no longer required and could be cancelled?

Consider the last time you reviewed any essential outgoings. Are there alternatives available which could save you money?

Consider if there are any benefits you may be entitled to and are not claiming. See Useful contacts for details.


Separating your accounts

You could consider setting up a separate account specifically for regular bills to be paid from. Having a bills account may make it less likely that you will miss any regular payments by separating these from other day to day spending.

Some companies give discounts for customers who pay by Direct Debit so you may also reduce costs by paying this way.

The easiest way to manage a bills and non-bills account is to set up a Standing Order from the account that receives your income to the bills account for the full amount required to cover your payments.

If you use a single account for all of your income and outgoings, consider changing the dates of any payments out of your account to line up with payments into your account (for example, your salary). This may reduce the chances of having payments refused due to lack of funds.


Start saving where you can

It is always a good idea to start saving for a rainy day no matter how little you have spare each month. You could choose to put aside money for car repairs, planning for a holiday or saving for a house deposit. You can open some savings accounts with as little as £1 and start earning interest on your money. Some accounts offer easy access to your money, others may have restrictions.

MoneyHelper has useful guides on the different types of savings available Savings | MoneyHelper


Types of Borrowing

At times it is good to have the option of borrowing money. It is important to find out what is right for you. There are different ways of borrowing so take the time to find the right one that suits you and your circumstances. As with any borrowing, you should only take on what you can comfortably afford.

Any credit such as a loan, credit card or overdraft you use will need to be repaid.

MoneyHelper has useful guides on the different types of credit available Types of credit | MoneyHelper

If you are in financial difficulties visit our Support during financial difficulties page for help.