Now you may think we’re crazy telling you to start thinking about your finances at Christmas where everyone is feeling the squeeze, but in fact this is one of the reasons why this time of year is a good time to start in time for next Christmas.
First steps in setting your own personal budget:
- First of all, grab as much information as you can about your household income and expenditure including payslips, bank and credit card statements, household bills, loans, mortgage payments etc. The more information you can get the better.
- Use this information to work out how much you spend on everything such as bills, birthdays, food, insurance etc. There’s a lot of ways you can record this, but why not try Money Advice Service’s free budget planner to help you with this part.
- Start with the easy cuts – upon looking at your expenditure, you may find you’re spending too much on that Costa coffee every morning, or maybe a gym membership you’ve only used once in the entire year? Reports say that brits waste £558m a year on unused memberships. Try going for a run instead or bringing your coffee in a flask every morning to save on such expenses.
Ensure your essential expenditure such as household bills and your rent / mortgage payments get paid before you start looking at the rest of your expenditure.
Once complete, you will have a much better understanding of what you actually spend, every time I do this exercise, I’m always spending more than I thought, so it’s definitely a worthwhile exercise to come back to periodically, however scary it can be!
When everything gets hectic in the lead up to Christmas, wouldn’t it be great to be able to spend more time with family and friends, relaxing together and making lots of Christmas memories?
That’s why we offer Christmas loans from 1 October until 20 December to help with the cost of Christmas and give you more time to relax and enjoy the festivities.
Also, make sure you stay tuned for our ‘2 weeks to Christmas plan’, as well as ‘how to manage your money – making cuts’ coming soon.