Bag a budget with Money Tools

October 10, 2022

If you find yourself dipping into your savings or relying on your overdraft every month, it may be time to make a budget. Budgeting is about figuring out what money is coming in, what is going out, and where you can make savings.

The first step is to write down everything you spend money on. It can be helpful to use your bank statement. Remember to include payments you make annually or quarterly, such as car insurance or back to school costs. Then make a list of the money you earn or receive, including social welfare payments such as child benefit. Once you have the list you can use our budgeting Money Tool to see if you are spending more than you make.

If you are spending more than you are getting, you need to increase your income or decrease your spending. You may be entitled to a full or partial social welfare payment such as the Working Family Payment. You could qualify for a GP card or get a tax refund on medical expenses.

When looking to cut spending, look at any debt you have and how much it is costing you. Credit cards are one of the most expensive ways to borrow. If you are only making your minimum repayments, then it may be worth taking out a loan to pay off your credit card debt. You could also look to see if you can move to a card with an interest free balance transfer. This means you pay no interest on your balance for a set period of time, which could help you to clear it. Use our credit card Money Tool to find out how long it will take you to clear your balance, and if there are better options available that you could switch to.

It may be possible to save money by switching providers. You can use comparison sites to compare electric, gas, phone, internet and health insurance. You can also ring up your existing providers to see if they can offer you a better deal. Our mortgage comparison Money Tool can help you see if you could save by switching. While there are legal costs involved in switching your mortgage to a new provider, the potential savings could make it well worth your while.

Check your bank statements to ensure you still want to pay for all the services you’re paying for. Many people tried new things during the pandemic, but if you’re not using that subscription, cancel it.

While making a budget can be daunting, it can bring real peace of mind when you figure it out. If you need further financial support, you can contact MABS.

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