The M Word

Jan 6 • Featured, Uncategorized • 2792 Views • 5 Comments on The M Word

OK, so I know it’s the thing none of us like to think about, but we all know that if you want more disposable income in 2010 (and beyond), you’ve got to face up to your finances. So to help you (and me!) sort money out I asked the experts for their Top 3 Tips:

*Give yourself a financial health check. ‘The most important financial test of all is a simple one,’ says TV’s Martin Lewis.  ‘Do you spend more than you earn?  If so, you’ve got a serious problem. It means either you’ll eat up all your spending or rapidly build up debt.  If not, then you can relax a touch, and know that you’re financially stable. To find this out requires a REAL budget – by that I don’t mean willy-nilly looking at a month’s expenditure that misses out things like Christmas, summer holidays or buying a sofa. I mean looking at your finances across a year. To help, I've designed a free tool that'll do the health check for you here.'

*Make sure you are getting all the money you are entitled to. ‘A large percentage of benefits go unclaimed by those who most need them, simply because people don’t know they are there,’ says Sam Thewlis from mumsclub. ‘It doesn’t help that the Government keep changing the names of benefits so you don’t know what to claim even if you wanted to. Check out really helpful sites like entitledto.'

*Pay off your debts. ‘Tackle those debts head on before you do anything else,’ says LivingwithKids money saving expert Alison Hunt. 'Try and move expensive credit card balances to a 0% card such as Virgin Money card (offering 0% for 16 months subject to a 2.98% fee) and give yourself some breathing space to clear that debt.’ For more tips and advice, visit lovemoney.com.

And don’t forget if you shop through KidStart  you get money back for your kids which you can save towards their future.
*What are your top money-saving tips?

written by Liz Jarvis

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5 Responses to The M Word

  1. Tim Atkinson says:

    Simple – do you really need it? If the answer’s yes, go ahead and buy it. If not, don’t. So much of what we buy – be it clothes, food, furnishings, whatever – isn’t really necessary at all. And I’m not talking about eating bread and water, looking like a tramp either. Whole wardrobes of good-quality clothes are disposed of every season, as well as enough food daily to feed many of the hungry. Quite frankly, we don’t need to spend half of what we do, and if we didn’t (and I’m including myself in this) we wouldn’t need much more by way of financial advice.

  2. notsupermum says:

    I pay all my bills by direct debit so I know exactly how much needs allocating each month; it makes it easier to budget for other unexpected costs. You often get a discount if you pay by direct debit too. I buy any new electrical or white goods online – they are always cheaper and usually have free delivery included in price. I buy some items in bulk when possible to save money, I never buy anything in the sales unless I actually need it (otherwise it’s not a bargain!). If I see something I really like, but don’t actually need, I go away first and think about it – 9 times out of 10 I don’t go back to buy it.

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  4. pauline wallin says:

    Pay for everything you can with CASH. Draw out from bank the barest minimum you think you need to get by week by week and pay with the folding stuff. By doing this, money feels more real than charging to either debit or credit card. When the cash runs out, that’s it. Also, I know it’s an unglamorous thing to do, but put loose change (every single penny) into a jam jar or whatever and only dip into in case of emergency. Amazing how quickly those five pence, ten pence and twenty pence pieces mount up.

  5. Sam says:

    That’s such a great help – hopefully can fulfill another new year’s resolution to sort my finances. My husband leaves much of this responsibility to me and then has a moan when he realises there’s no money in the bank and I have to admit – I’m not completely on top of it all. Martin Lewis’s financial health check will be a great help.

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