Managing Money

Take control of your finances

Here are some simple tips and tools for you to better manage your money and take control of what you spend and where you spend it.

Personal Budget in 5 easy steps:

    1. Write down what you get paid each week or month – only include money that you know you are going to get, not what you hope to be getting.
    2. Write down a list of ALL the money you need to pay out. This should include rent, utility bills, council tax, insurance, TV licence, travel, food, mobile phone and any loan repayments.
    3. Budget some money for fun things as well like socialising, clothes and makeup, cinema – enjoying yourself isn’t a crime but it needs to be included.
    4. Be honest about how much you spend – for a couple of weeks write down exactly what you spend. It will probably be a bit more than the budget you worked out.
    5. If you are spending more than you earn you will need to look at reducing the amount of money you spend on non-essential things, or whether you can increase your income.

 

                                    And finally…. stick to it!

Click here for a useful online budget tool or download the PDF budget planner to fill in

 

Pay your regular, fixed bills by a direct payment
By setting up a direct payment, either by standing order or direct debit, you know that your critical bills (ie rent, utilities and insurance) are paid directly from your account, on the same day every month. Talk to your bank about how this works and what you need to do.

If you do not yet have a bank account then you will need to open one, particularly with Universal Credit being implemented in 2014.

Opening a bank account
High street banks can offer you a Basic Bank Account but accounts are also available with Credit Unions, who welcome new, irregular savers and people with poor credit histories. They can give you advice about money and also help you with responsible saving and lending.

For more information, or to find out where your nearest Credit Union is based, contact the Association of British Credit Unions Ltd (ABCUL) on 0161 832 3694, email info@abcul.org or visit www.abcul.org

Don’t let money troubles lead you to the sharks!
Easy cash promised from the growing number of high street ‘money shops’ can be tempting but the repercussions can be crippling.

There are a number of organisations offering advice and guidance about how best to manage your money. Always seek advice and avoid the quick fix cash loans as these can lead you into greater debt.

Money Advice

Get support from one of the following organisations:

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Citizens Advice
Bureau

Website to find your local centre

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National Debtline
Website
0808 808 4000

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Step Change
Website
0800 138 1111
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The Money
Advice Service

Website
0300 500 5000

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HM-Revenue-and-Customs
Tax Credit Helpline
0845 300 3900

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Dos & Don’t when in debt

t_down Don’t bury your head in the sand or try to hide debt, things will get worse.
t_up Do get professional advice – debt can be managed but you must not ignore it.
t_down   Don’t just borrow more money to repay debts – avoid payday loans and never go to a loan shark for money.
t_up Do if you need a loan, approach a Credit Union.
t_up Do contact the Housing Management Team if for any reason you cannot pay your rent and let us know straight away so we can support you.
t_up Do prioritise debts and pay these first.
t_up Do write and stick to a budget.