Maybe you’ve never tried budgeting. A credit score is something other people have. Muddling through has just been your way of money management. And it’s worked out ok so far, right? But this is different. The cost-of-living crisis is starting to sound a bit scary. Inflation is creeping up and big energy bills are looming. No one is really sure what to expect.
Well, to mark Mental Health Awareness Week, we’ve put together a few suggestions for how you might be able to lower the stress levels. They’re not full-blown solutions (we wish they were), but they should hopefully help you feel more in control.
Money has an annoying habit of disappearing when you’re not looking. Keeping a closer eye on it pays off. Here’s some ideas:
Pay yourself a weekly salary
Sounds a bit strange but bear with us. If you’ve noticed that money gets really tight towards the end of the month, then this is a great way to spread the wealth… literally. After you’ve paid for your essentials (rent, bills & travel), work out what you can realistically spend each week. Leave a bit of contingency, just in case. Then transfer that money into your spending account each Monday.
You could even set up a second account with a standing order. Then you haven’t got the ‘I forgot’ excuse…
Try not to dip into your savings
Saving money during these strange times might seem totally unrealistic. And for many of us, it is. But if you’ve been working hard over the years to squirrel away some money for the future, try not to touch it now. Adjusting your lifestyle may seem like a drag, but it’s better than propping it up with savings.
Maybe you could open a savings account so that you can earn interest. Take a look at this guide to the different types of savings accounts, and how to find the right one for you.
A little goes a long way
Most bank accounts offer a ‘save the change’ style option. It’s a great way to save small amounts that add up without you really noticing. You can apply it to your spending on your account. Then, every time you make a purchase, your bank will round the amount up to the nearest pound and transfer the difference into your chosen savings account.
It’s only little amounts, but it can add up fast.
Get comfortable splitting bills
Fun friends are great and all that, but when you’re trying to keep to a budget, it can be struggle. With Kroo’s bill splitting feature, it’s simple to pay what you owe. We know it can be a little awkward being fussy about the bill, but we need to normalise it in this strange world we live in.
That way, you won’t get shafted when Dave orders lobster…
Force yourself to take stock
Money management doesn’t work if you bury your head in the sand. Force yourself to take some time to get your finances in order. The more often you do it, the quicker it will be.
We hope that’s been useful. As we said, these aren’t solutions, but they should help to make things a little easier to digest. Money is a lot less scary once you’re on top of it. Knowing where to start is the hard bit.