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Discussion in 'Personal' started by taurusmmuk, Dec 28, 2011.
I did it the easy way, I married someone who isgreat at managing money. Not much help eh!
I am rubbish too - in fact one of my resolutions is to get myself sorted financially in 2012.I tihnk the first place to start (as even I have managed this) is to have two current accounts. One where your salary gets paid into and then a standing order from this each months goes into another account and then all my direct debits come out of this.
It's quite depressing when I see how little I have to live off when I have paid all my bills but at least I then do know and can apparently budget appropriately(!).
I like perusing the money saving expert web site too for idea for how to save.
Oh and in the new year I am off to see my financial advisor (she is wonderful) and going to change my .ortgage to get a better deal. I think that it's improtant to shop around for utilities, mortgages, etc.
That's as far as I have got but I would be interested in hearing what others have to say about this.
My salary goes in on the 22nd so I have a list of direct debits from the 23rd to the 22nd, then I just transfer that amount into my bills account when I get my wage on the 22nd.
I can't really add to the excellent advice/ideas posted here Eggy, but....I do know it's the vague and woolly amount 'left over' when all the bills have been paid that leads to my headaches.
Now I tell myself there is NOTHING left over and it makes me much much more aware of any money I spend on what could be termed fripperies or non-essentials. Think about the non-essentials you might be forking out for. Things like drinks and snacks when out, beauty treatments, luxury food items, 'must-have' clothes - bought impulsively etc. These were purchases I used to make when I worked and didn't think twice about. Now, I go out for the pleasure of being in the fresh air. It's almost a game to see how little I can spend.
Oh I am sure being frugal holds no joy for lots of people but I have found it is relatively easy to cut out non-essentials.
I have learnt to my cost however that it is prudent to have a bit of a safety net. I would advise putting a little money in a special rainy-day account for those one-off payments like car-tax, car repairs, MOT costs, household repairs etc. I need to do that for my peace of mind. It's on my 'to do' list for next week, and it may entail becoming even more frugal but fortunately I am a low-maintenance woman and don't need much in the way of material things to keep me happy. I worked for many years and have everything I need really.
So, work out your out-goings...see what's left over and put as much as that as you can into an 'emergencies' account. Think twice about buying things or giving hand-outs to the kids...(NO used to work for mine) and enjoy the peace of mind that comes from sorting out your spending. I think peace of mind, in terms of finances, must be priceless.
Sorry to be harsh but if you are struggling with finances you shouldn't be buying items such as these. It costs very little to feed yourself and a partner packed lunches during the week - look at the Good Food Magazine website for some brilliant ideas.
Budgeting is very simple. Two columns: Money in, Money out. The latter should never be greater than the former. If it is, you are living beyond your means, end of. As to how to deal with expenditure beyond income only you know what you are willing to sacrifice. None of us needs a mobile 'phone, take out food, bought coffee/tea etc and we certainly don't need foreign holidays (or for that matter holidays that cost money in this country)
Since my (supply) income is now unpredictable I use a spreadsheet to keep a very careful watch on what I'm being paid. I can predict how much I need to earn per week on average for the remainder of my working year if I'm going to remain solvent, and this figure updates each week as I enter new pay figures. If it ever gets to the point where the required amount exceeds my likely earnings, based on the average number of days a week I work, I'll know it's time to look for other employment.
It's also helped me on more than one occasion where the agency have underpaid me, and where HMRC have taken too much tax.
Pretty much my philosophy. I would add the cost of motoring. I keep my cars until they are scrap and have done around 200,000 miles. I have owned 3 cars in the last 30 years and witnessed friends changing their every couple of years. The cost is horrendous. Cars are reliable for at least 10 years if properly maintained.
And learn to say no to your children. My children are now grown up and don't look at the toys they were bought or not bought but on the time we spent together as a family.
I have a set figure (£2000) I like to have in my current account (I know it is stupid to have so much, but it makes me happy). I make sure my wife has the same. Then, come payday I transfer out to savings any amount over £2000. Then, once all direct debits have left the accounts on the 10th, I total up our combined "value" (savings + plus current accounts + isa) and compare it to last month.
Some months we save a lot, some months we don't, but I can always put my hands on a sizeable amount from my current account. The system works for us.
In the UK I had 3 accounts.
My salary was paid to 1.
I then paid a set amount (for bills and rent) into account 2
and a set amount for spends into 3.
Then money left in account 1 was for if required and if there was money left it went into savings/ISA etc. All worked brilliantly until I lost my job xx
When we were first married and again when we retired, we had a book in which we wrote all (and i mean all) our expenditure down. We just did it for a year or two so that we were pretty sure we knew where the money went. I found it pretty borinmg and wasn't very good at it but it did help. OH was rigorous and loved it. He still misses it. The original book is a wonderful document of the way we lived in the 70s - I was always good at living off not very much when it's necessary and as I was desperate to get out of our first flat I really scrimped. If fancy spreadsheets help you that's fine (my OH has multi coloured sheets that keep him very happy), but just keeping a list of what you spend is the first step I think.
I tend to budget a month ahead, but keeping an eye on the 'quarterly' expenses. I therefore list the all expenses; mobile, rent, petrol, food, council tax, student loan etc. then I factor a 'virtual' £100 a month to account for gas/electric/water phone. Also, if you keep a spreadsheet, or write the expenses down, you can compare your expenses on a month to month basis and see if you're living beyond your means or not. Personally, I would give yourself a bit of pocket money each week...I feel it's like dieting; if you're not allowed to eat something, you want to all the more. ...however, cut down,,,,,if you're used to having a pint down the pub, cut down to a half, or even better a cheap soft drink.....it means you still get to see friends and don't completely deprive yourself. Also, if you don't spend the 'pocket money', you'll feel good about it. Monitor and adjust amounts as necessary. Try to make packed lunches the night before. ...I find if I do it the night before, I'm more likely to make myself something I want to eat and then not buy something at school. If you would buy chocolate bars or a bottle of drink, go to Lidl, get some cheap ones to take with you, so you don't fall off the wagon. I've learnt all this as a result of remaining in a 2 bedroom flat after my ex. moved out. I shifted down to a cheaper phone (I almost went to pay as you go). Anything I can possible go without, I have..... I try to save on my energy bills.... I've had to give up my Open University studies. I WILL get back on to the straight and narrow. MM