Managing your money and planning ahead
These are uncertain times for all of us and money worries can be really stressful. Even if you’re OK at the moment, it pays to start planning in case money becomes an issue. Automotive charity Ben share their top tips to help save you time and energy – and importantly, money – when you might not be feeling at your best.
1. Create a budget
Work out what money you have coming in and what money you have going out – be as detailed as possible to capture everything. You can use this tool to help you understand your money. You can also use a budget planner. Seeing it in black and white can help you feel more in control. Try giving yourself ‘pocket money’ so that you have some money to spend on what you want (bets on the football or a night out with your mates) but means you don’t spend all of your available income!
2. Identify how you can reduce costs
Once you understand how much money you are spending and on what, create two lists – a list of essential items and another of non-essential items. You can then easily work out how much you could save if you stop spending on non-essential items.
3. Track your spending
Track everything you spend, even if it’s only for a few weeks, it will show you exactly how much you’re spending on non-essential items or habits and you’ll see where you can make further savings if you need to.
4. Save money
If you can, start saving or topping up your savings so that you have some money put aside for an emergency. This means you don’t have to try and find the money to cover that emergency from your monthly income or resorting to credit cards (unless you can pay it off quickly).
5. Set yourself a goal
If you can save every month, even if it’s a small amount, you will be surprised at how quickly it builds up. Don’t be tempted to dip into it. Whether you’re aiming to save enough to pay your car insurance in one go (because it’s cheaper than monthly payments) or for a holiday – keep your eye on the prize!
6. Check insurance
Check whether you have insurance policies that would cover your mortgage payments or replace some of your income. For example:
- Payment protection insurance
- Mortgage payment protection insurance
- Accident, sickness and unemployment insuranceThese types of insurance are often offered with life insurance policies or mortgages and it’s easy to forget you have cover. There is usually a minimum time period, which could be several months, before these policies pay out, so you should talk to your insurer to find out more, particularly if you are worried about redundancy.
How Ben can help you
Ben is the charity dedicated to supporting the people of the automotive industry, providing support for life for them and their family dependents. They work with people to improve their lives by enhancing their health and wellbeing through its free and confidential online self-help, helpline and support services.
If you’re struggling to make ends meet, Ben can help. They can help you to maximise benefits, explore grants available and get you back on track with your finances. Visit ben.org.uk, chat with them online here or call their helpline on 08081 311 333.