The contents on this page have been produced by Fanny Snaith, money coach in cooperation with borofree. These contents are for guidance only and do not represent a recommendation for investments nor an advice to get a loan. The debt guidance is provided for educational purposes and to allow consumers to use their money more effectively.
Figure out where your money is going and start putting your money into money pots
Making a money map or starting to budget is challenging at times. For those who have situations dumped on them that are no fault of their own, it is doubly hard. But there are so many people who choose to continue to rack up unnecessary expenses when there simply isn’t enough money available to support these. Debt is expensive and if you haven’t got enough money coming in any way, paying debt interest on top of everything else is just going to make matters far worse.
One of the first steps to take to help cut back on spending is creating a budget or money map. This makes you plot out where every pound of your hard earned money goes each month. Allocate all of your income to something, so that you reach zero when you deduct your total spending from your income. This means that every pound is give a purpose with not a penny left without a job to do.
If you think of your money like water, then you want it to be in containers. Think of a glass of water. In the glass the water is utilized fully – without the glass, it goes all over the floor and is wasted.
One pot is for bills – try opening a separate account for just bills. All regular bills should be automated. Automation by direct debit or standing order makes sure you pay on time and saves you time too. Tot up all your regular bills and fill the pot each month accordingly. This is where any debt payments would be included too.
Another pot is for things like Christmas, holidays, birthdays, optician, dentist etc. – these are things that are NOT regular and can catch us out financially. By having one pot for what Fanny calls “Sometimes” spends and putting money into it each month you will be ready for that dentist visit etc. Work out how much to put in like this:
Dentist – Annual spend = £240, £240 divided by 12 = £20. Set aside £20 per month.
Allocate money to the pots as soon as it is received each month. Ask your bank to help you do this or if you bank with a new digital bank like Starling or Monzo, they have the wonderful “Space or Pots” facility already there for you. Try including long term savings here too, maybe even investing. Aim to save 3-6months of essential living expenses as a buffer. Just in case your income stops for any reason.
This method will eliminate stress and get you feeling in control of your money as you will feel prepared and ready for up-and-coming events rather than having to find the money last minute.
The final pot is what Fanny calls the “Everyday” pot. This is the money you keep in your current account. It will be the sum of money you need for groceries, petrol, bus fares, coffees etc. Money that you need readily available at any point during the month – but notice that it is still mapped out – budgeted for. It is not a bottomless pot.
See where you can cut back
While many of us find it hard and painful to work out where and how to cut back on spending, we all know how miserable it can make us when we see our account in the red. Balancing spending is one of the best ways to help you to feel happy and in control, and it is a great way to show that you love and look after yourself too.
Cutting back on your expenses need not take up your time, you can make it very simple. Start by working out which items you can live without, after mapping out your money, then look at decluttering old direct debits and standing orders. In many cases, people tend to pay a monthly payment for a membership or service that they had completely forgotten they had even set up!
The next step is to look at where you can cut back on costs for things you DO need in your everyday life, for example your phone and energy bills.
A little bit of time spend finding the best price can save you hundreds of pounds. Use comparison sites like comparethemarket.com, uswitch.com, gocompare.com to get a better price. Once you have put your details in and saved them, it is then also much easier to quickly update the following year. This will save you time and money in the long run.
If you want to look to tackle your finances head on, booking a free consultation with a money coach is recommended. Nearly all money coaches offer a free consultation, and this will help you to get clarity on the state of your finances and create a plan to pay off unwanted debt. Working with a money coach will help you to take a realistic look at how much you need to be putting away to achieve this, as well as helping you to see where you can make changes so that you’re not paying interest on top of your debts. By speaking with someone and getting clarity on your financial situation, you can then plan to tackle your finances head on. This plan may take time, but knowing exactly what to put away each month and how to stop building interest on top of your debts will help you to stop feeling overwhelmed, as well as knowing exactly what steps to take in order to reach financial freedom.
All debt advisors say that the earlier you tackle the problem, the easier it will be. So don’t bury your head in the sand (even though that’s all you want to do!). If necessary, get a friend to sit with you while you work out what your financial situation really is or while you call creditors and get your situation sorted. If you have problems paying your rent or mortgage it’s even more important to deal with it as soon as you start to have issues.
If you would like to speak to Fanny visit her website here www.fannysnaith.com
Stop using high interest credit
It’s important to make the switch to 0% interest credit cards if you’re already in debt. This will stop you from amassing further debt in the timeframe that you’ll need to eventually pay the debts off. Anytime that you are going to try and switch to a 0% interest credit card, she suggests using a comparison website so that you can ‘soft apply’. This is important, she explains, because if you apply via a bank’s website and your application gets turned down, this could impact your credit score.
Instead, by applying via a comparison website, you can put in all your details, and it will then give you your credit score and tell you all the possible credit card options that you could have at 0% and likelihood of being accepting for one of these.
If money is tight and you still find you need to make an emergency payment or essential purchase, using a free salary advance provider is a good option. For working people, you can now access your own money early, with no charges and no interest, as is being offered by borofree. For those in work, free salary advances should obviate the need for high-cost credit and will help you to take back control of your own money faster.
We are all human, meaning that financial worries can impact all of us at one time or another, and when they do, they bring stress and worry. What is important to remember is that there are options available to support when these instances occur. Understanding how to approach money matters and taking steps to make changes that will have a lasting positive impact will lead to being able to enjoy greater financial freedom in the future.