Before you start, it’s a good idea to really get familiar with your own incomings and spending habits. It’s amazing how much we let slip through our radar when it comes to small buys (like our morning coffee and pastry).
- A good first step is to set up a basic budget by taking note of your money that is coming in and going out. Try our handy budget calculator to help you keep track of your finances.
- Remember, be honest with yourself and try to include everything you spend.
- Not sure where your money goes? Print or view your bank statements online to help you identify your income and outgoings. Try keeping a spending diary for a month.
- Take note of your mortgage repayments or rent every month and note the day of the month that the money is withdrawn from your account.
- Remember to include the things you only pay for once a year, such as management company fees or annual car tax and insurance, by estimating and dividing up the average that you'd spend in a year. Don't forget to insert any current debt repayments you may have into your outgoing commitments too.
- Identify areas where you are overspending, and ask yourself if it is absolutely essential?
- Could you make reductions such as switching utility services to a cheaper provider or change your grocery retailer to a more competitive one?
- You can also check your bank balance frequently online, on the phone or at an ATM.