Budgeting


Regardless of how much income you receive, budgeting is an important part of good money management. It’s all about input and output. Do you live within your means? And if not what could you change to do so?

Follow this link to create your own personalised budget planner: https://www.moneyadviceservice.org.uk/en/tools/budget-planner

If you are over budget there are some steps you could take to save- potentially hundreds of pounds on your fixed monthly expenses:


Utility Bills:

According to WHICH you could save £500 by haggling your bills http://www.which.co.uk/money/money-saving-tips/guides/haggle-to-cut-your-bills/haggling-how-to-save-500-a-year/

  • Change providers – do some research on the best deals: one benefit in today’s competitive market is the choice available to consumers.
  • Take readings of your gas and electric meters – it is often cheaper than being charged by an estimate… 
  • Pay by Direct Debits- companies often prefer you to pay them by direct debit, usually offering some kind of discount to do so- and it can be more convenient for you too! (Remember The Change Account wont charge for any bounced direct debits)

http://www.uswitch.com 
www.moneysupermarket.com    

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Groceries:

Plan your meals as much as possible and write a list so that you only buy what you really need

  • Supermarket Loyalty Cards – get exclusive offers and benefits where you do your monthly or weekly shop.
  • Online Shopping – it can be more cost effective, especially for ‘big’ shops: You can also see the running total of your basket as you shop.
  • Reduced Shelves– towards the end of the day supermarkets often have whole shelves dedicated to significantly cut-price goods: try going in at the end of the day and see what deals you can get.
  • Price Match’ offers. Many big supermarkets chains will now offer you money back if you could have saved more elsewhere, check your receipt to see if you have saved.
  • Why not try growing your own produce? Read this guide to get you started: https://www.rhs.org.uk/advice/beginners-guide/plant-containers/growing-fruit-and-vegetables-in-containers/vegetable-basics

car

Travel:

  • Keep track of fuel prices by downloading supermarket apps- fill up at the cheapest pumps.
  • Save on fuel by walking or getting public transport wherever possible. If you have to drive to work today why not see if there is anyone to car share with? Both pocket, and environmentally friendly!
  • If your daily commute is by train- check if you can apply for a rail card to save up to a third on full price tickets. http://www.railcard.co.uk It is often more cost effective to buy a monthly or annual ticket rather than a daily ticket. If you live in London you can also use contactless cards to save money on the underground.
  • Check prices online– especially if you are booking ahead. – it is often cheaper than buying in the station thetrainline.com www.raileasy.co.uk

If you have a Change Account why not set up a Wallet for all your fixed outgoings? This way you know exactly what you have left to spend each month!