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The idea is to have more money coming in then going out. Although this is a daily struggle, there’s small changes you can make to look after the pennies, so that the pounds look after themselves. 

Why do you need to budget?

You should always watch your money, even when you feel you’re earning enough to splurge however there may be an initial reason why you need to budget; you may have a big event coming up such as a wedding or a holiday, alternatively, you may have just lost your job and finding it hard to provide for your children. Whatever the reason, good or bad, remember, everything is temporary.  You can enjoy yourself without spending a huge amount, you just need to be careful.

Step One: Make a list

Sit down and understand exactly where your money is going. Start by writing out what necessities you have. Some of these will be: housing, phone fees, food, and transportation.  When you have written down your monthly outgoings, you can work out how much you have left over and ultimately save.

Step Two: Set goals

Do you want to save your money or just cut the cost? Whatever you need to do, set some goals to get to. These goals have to be realistic, don’t set a goal of saving more money then you make, when you could simply put away £5 every week. This can give you structure to your spending and allow you something to work towards.

Step Three: Use Visuals

With your goals set, you may feel overwhelmed by using cards. At this point you should take out a weekly amount for spending and stick to it.  Using mason jars to see how much you are saving and spending can show you how far away you are from your goals set.

Step Four: Cut Costs

Although there are plenty of luxuries you may use such as getting that new top you decided you deserved or even treating yourself to a cheeky night out on the town, do you REALLY need that gym membership you have used once in the last 2 years? Close that account and walk to work instead. Saves you a membership and petrol. 

Manage your expectations

You are going to cut down on costs, for sure. Ultimately, this will entail sacrifice. Remember that sacrifice is different from compromise. You can sacrifice eating out but cannot comprise your health by not eating or skipping meals.

You can turn the thermostat down but you cannot be cold and risk compromising your health.

Don’t become overwhelmed by budgeting, just be honest and look at your budget to see where any savings (if any) can be made.  For example,  walking instead or using expensive transport, cheaper supermarket brands instead of leading brands.

Seek help from agencies who are there to help you Welfare Rights Agencies, Credit Unions, Food Banks, Social Supermarkets & specialist agencies like MIND &  Age Concern

Make sure you are claiming all the money you are ENTITLED to. It’s your money – you just need to know how to get it.

Don’t be afraid or embarrassed to ask for help, there are a number of agencies who exist to help you, access them you are ENTITLED to.

Remember this financial crisis is hitting everyone.  You are not the only one,  many of us are struggling and need a little help at the moment.

If you need any help with signposting to agencies or telephone numbers do not hesitate to contact us 024 76 998099