It’s all too easy to turn a blind eye when it comes to finances. But with a few simple steps, managing your money doesn’t have to be as scary as you think.

Step 1: Work out your budget
Knowing what money you have coming in and going out is essential. Once you have a clear idea, you’ll be in a better position to take control of your money.

There are plenty of free online budget planners you can use. Try Citizen’s Advice or The Money Advice Service, which also offers a financial health check.

Step 2: Cut back where you can
It’s easy to spend money on things we don’t need. Takeaways, alcohol, coffee and buying lunch at work can all mount up. Could you make your lunch at home a few days a week? Take a coffee with you in a travel mug instead of stopping at a coffee shop? With a little planning ahead you could make big savings.

Step 3: Cook up a storm
You’ll find lots of budget recipes online, to suit all cooking abilities! Get ideas from Good to Know, TV Chef Jamie Oliver and Cooking on a Bootstrap. Plan meals for the week, then write a shopping list so you only buy what you need at the supermarket.

Step 4: Reduce your bills
Bills are usually our biggest outgoings. Luckily there are ways to reduce your bills. You’ll find lots of energy-saving tips on uSwitch. They recommend unplugging appliances you don’t use regularly, turning the temperature down on your washing machine and popping an extra blanket on your bed.

Step 5: Stay Smart
Get in touch with your energy supplier and ask them to install a free Smart Meter. They come with a display screen which shows you how much energy you are using in real time, so you can see how well your energy saving tactics are working!

Step 6: Get rid of debt
If you have loans or credit cards, set up a monthly direct debit for the minimum payment. This will help you avoid more charges. If you have a month where you have some money left over, think about making a larger payment that month. This way you will pay your debt off quicker.

Step 7: Consolidate debts
If your finances are in good shape, paying off existing debts with one of our loans could make it much easier to keep track of your money. You can apply for a loan from Places for People Financial Services here (99.9% APR representative).

And finally… Get help
If you are struggling to manage your finances and need help, get in touch with a free money advice service. Citizens Advice provide free, independent, confidential and impartial advice to everyone. The Money Advice Service also provides free and impartial money advice.

 

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Places for People Financial Services Limited is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority with firm reference number 663756.

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