For me, budgeting is a and we should be able to acquire this skill from school, from family and from organisations such as the , which offers free and impartial advice. There are many budget planning tools online too, including through and the .
In order to budget effectively, you’ll need to collect your bank statements and any other way you pay out money. There are lots of demands for our , some essential and some that could possibly be trimmed.
Can I justify all my ?
Are there things I’m not getting value from, or that I no longer use?
Are there ways of getting things at a reduced rate?
There are many ways of getting things through a benefit/perk scheme at work or through your local council, for example if you live with a disabled person (with a physical or mental disability), you may be applicable for a reduction in . You can make an online enquiry to save you phone wait time.
Many of us are paying out for things that we no longer use because we don’t stop to assess. How often do we ask ourselves, “Can I afford it?” before making a purchase? If the answer is “no”, then it’s better step away from the “Pay Now” button. A recent, more common scenario is of “Buy Now, Pay Later”. These are debts you are incurring; debts that if you don’t pay on time, impact on other areas of your financial standing.
There can be a tendency to buy the branded products, often swayed by advertising. Trying cheaper alternatives would save you money. For example, Boots do hair conditioners for 75p, including Mango and Papaya, or Pomegranate and Raspberry. If you use a Boots Advantage card, you can collect points that equate to a 4% savings - that’s on top of your if you’re buy online.
You need to decide if you’re doing a just for yourself or whether it’s shared budget. You can do it weekly or monthly, depending on how you are paid. If you’re not paid a set figure, then average out your earnings for six or 12 months. In these uncertain times, which have seen many people lose their jobs, it may seem like a disheartening exercise. However, it is better to know where you are and to ask for help earlier rather than later.
We don’t tend to talk to about money. You should be on the same page as the person you are sharing life with. In terms of finances, are you working towards the same things? Does he want a caravan and you want a ? This could be a process which allows you to speak to your partner about money. Approach it as a way of seeing if there are any savings to be made. You could jointly agree to stop buying something or you may choose an alternative that suits you better now. For example instead of getting takeaways, you make decide to buy a box/kit to cook together at home.
One method of practical budgeting is to create separate accounts to set aside money for the funding essentials, something you’re saving for. It’s only when we list all of our income and outgoings that we get an idea of what is left for spending or saving.
Once the budget is done, the hard part is sticking to it. So strengthen your resolve and feel great for not giving in, knowing that you can buy yourself or a loved one a gift that has more significance.
If you find yourself in trouble, you are not alone. can be contacted on 0800 138 1111 can help you to work out a plan to move forward. One of the first things they will get you to do is to look at all your income and expenses…yes, a budget.
On a lighter note, if there are teenagers who you think would benefit from this life skill, then is an excellent resource. I liked the which gives you an appraisal of where you could improve in relation to money matters.
Saroj Joshi is a money saving expert. In this regular series for ‘iGlobal’, the Derbyshire-based adviser shares her wealth of experience in investing, saving, and the property market of providing support to the local Indian community with her handy tips.
*For specific queries or money saving tips, you can reach iMoney Guru at