Tips for the future – budgeting

It can be a chore to work out what money you need to spend and where. But if you do it right you can make your money go further. Here are some quick tips that can really help.

Don’t bury your head in the sand

Open all bills and statements as soon as they land. Seek help as soon as you experience any financial difficulty. You’ll know what you need to spend and you can also track if you’re overspending anywhere in your budget. You might even be getting overcharged so it’s always worth checking your bills.

Stick to a budget

Set a detailed household budget to get a clear picture of what you need to spend each week or month. In some months this may change as you spend less on heating bills for instance. So make sure you save what you don’t spend as you may need it later on in the year.

Don’t give up

Circumstances can be difficult and sticking to a tight budget can feel tough. If you over spend one day, aim to get back on track as soon as possible. Just because you’ve overspent one day doesn’t mean that you can’t under spend on another. Stay positive.

Prioritise your debts

Don’t pay those who shout the loudest.  Payments like mortgages, rent, council tax and energy bills should come top of the list. After that always look to pay off the debts that cost you more in charges and interest.

Save when you can

Energy suppliers have recently announced cuts to their charges. Petrol and the costs of some household goods are also coming down. Make sure you take advantage by saving any extra cash as this will be handy if you have an unexpected cost such as a car repair. Having a financial buffer to help pay for emergencies will help your everyday life continue should you need to pay for them. Cut back where you can – if your typical takeaway costs over a month are £15, cutting back by just £5 a month will save you £60 in a year.

Save for your future

You’re not going to be 21 forever. So it’s always wise to save towards a pension. Most workplaces will have a scheme that will automatically make contributions from your salary so always keep this in mind when budgeting.