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Advice on Managing Money

Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
So I am paying out over £250 per month in to an overdraft and the rest of my money doesn't last the whole month. Understand, I'm not a big spender... My overdraft came about because I was in a low paid job during a recession and had more going out than coming in)...

I'm on around £16K before taxes including debt (£19K is my salary), I can live on this... I have a gym membership, which is probably excessive, but which I see as important because of my health...

My rent plus bills is about £350 per month, I pay transport as well... But apart from that, I am shit with money...

I honestly don't know where it all goes, as I don't smoke, or own a car... I know this month, I had to buy new clothes because my old clothes are too big and now I am left with £3.50 before pay day!

I am really fed up, as I am not flamboyant with how I live, but I am somehow living beyond my means. Probably a lot of what I spend may be on food?

I'd like to do an evening course, but I am fed up with living like I do, always being in debt and not knowing where things go.

Does anybody have any advice on money management? I really need it...

Comments

  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Well you seem to have your priorities right, getting rent and bills paid first.

    So...

    The overdraft. Would it be worth talking to the bank and getting a loan at a lower interest rate ? I know overdrafts usually charge less interest (i think) but it might be worth looking into. Could you possibly transfer you overdraft onto at '0% for 12 months' credit card ?

    Store/credit cards. Have you got any ? If you have and are paying interest on them, write to the cc comapny, say you're having difficulties and ask them to freeze your account and interest so you can clear the debt or transfer to a '0% for 12 months' card.

    Shopping.
    Don't go shopping when you're hungry, more likely to impulse buy.
    Make a shopping list AND STICK TO IT.
    If you see a good offer on something you use, but a couple more to save money. This works well for expensive stuff like coffee, washing powder etc. Sainsburys had an offer on big fuck off bottles of persil nonbio, half price. Bought 4 and saved £30
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    I am gonna talk to the bank tomorrow...

    I have £750 to pay off on my over draft... So three months to go on it and one month left of the loan I had to get when other house mate left not paying rent...

    February, I'll be free of the debt I owe banks and companies, thank God... :crying: It will be such a relief...

    But I shall try the lists like you said Rubberskin, thanks so much!

    I was especially bad this month, with Xmas shopping and clothes... I am not used to having more than two pounds to rub together, so at the beginning of months I tend to buy things I needed to buy and then forget to budget for the rest of the month! :blush:

    It is embarrassing because growing up, we were really hard up. You'd think I'd be better with money and make what I have go further... What I'll do is maybe do a shopping list and have £2-3 per week for a treat. Put a small amount aside for recreational too.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    RubberSkin wrote: »
    Shopping.
    Don't go shopping when you're hungry, more likely to impulse buy.
    Make a shopping list AND STICK TO IT.
    If you see a good offer on something you use, but a couple more to save money. This works well for expensive stuff like coffee, washing powder etc. Sainsburys had an offer on big fuck off bottles of persil nonbio, half price. Bought 4 and saved £30

    Meal plan, too. This saves on possible food waste too.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    I second or third the meal plan thing - also look at what you spend your money on by writing everything down each week for a few weeks or so - its easy to spend to much on silly things like coffee and lunch.

    Also take out your money for the week to live on on a monday as cash and only spend that - its much easier to see where your money is going then rather than when your just shoving it on a card
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Really agre with the writing everything down, last time I did this I was shockeda t how much money I was spending on shitty magazines that I barely read and then threw away. Also, writing things down might make you not buy little things that you don't need to save you the trouble of getting your notbook out...
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    By the value alternatives to food. Most of it tastes exactly the same. And Morrisons have got a half price offer on bread at the moment.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    When you go shopping, look at the price per 100g / 100ml.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    First thing to do is open a savings account, you can apply online, just as i did with my bank, with my e-saver account every month without fail i put £200 in there and forget about it.

    Thats what you should do, it doesnt even need to be a lot, even £100 or £50 but it will add up.

    And dont touch it, i would rather go without or borrow money before i touched my saving account, once you start taking a bit back now and again it wont act like much of a savings account.

    Also dont bother about searching around for a good rate as they are all crap, i couldnt care less about a percentage back form my bank as its not worth much even in the better savings account, all im interested in is a place to put my money and if a little gets added now and again by the bank then thats all well and good. Just pick an account thats convenient, something you can do online or at least at an atm.


    :thumb:
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Although, borrowing money on higher rates than your savings makes no sense at all...
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Look at buying the larger packs or stuff in different packaging

    Couple of examples from Sainburys' where we shop

    Hellmann's Real Mayonnaise 600g £2.75p

    Hellmann's Real Mayonnaise 800g £2.82p

    33% more for 7p


    Heinz Squeezy Tomato Ketchup 342g £1.35p

    Heinz Tomato Ketchup (glass bottle) 342g £1.04p
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    I second meal plans and shopping list. Also, if you know someone with a car ask if you can go with them to the supermarket next time they go, that way you can bulk buy. You can save massively buying non perishables like rice and pasta, spices, dried pulses, tinned tomatoes etc in large quantities, I also find it helps with planning meals if I know I just need to buy the fresh fruit and veg each week. Cook as much as you have time to from scratch too, the cost per meal can come to just pennies that way and means you'll feel less guilty about having occasional treats.

    Once you're debt free, the savings idea is great. Even though interest rates are still low, most variable rate ISAs will still pay you more interest than current accounts. If a real emergency crops up you can always withdraw the money and importantly you'll have avoided the dreaded overdraft. Then once you've got a nice lump sum look into putting a bit of it into a savings account with a fixed rate. :thumb:
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Hey guys,

    Managing money always seems like a chore, but getting it right sooner always pays off later (mind the pun!).

    Great tips on here already - I like the meal planning and keeping a record of everything you spend.

    I came across the FSA's website called What About Money? which is aimed at young people. It has lots of useful information and tips for saving money. It also has a budgeting section.

    Budgeting can seem hard at first - but work out what you need to spend money on every month (which you already seem to know), and then have a look at what's left. Try to save as much as you can for a 'rainy day' and then can spend the rest as you want but make sub-budgets for things like food and clothes etc.

    Hope this helps :)
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