It’s a new year and the perfect time for your finances to have a fresh start. New Year’s resolution? Save money!
1. Make a budget. Here at CAP we bang on about budgets A LOT. But that’s only because it’s so important! Getting your head around your income and expenditure can help to prevent you from running into real financial trouble in the future. Start today and see if you can keep it up every month for the rest of the year! For a free course with expert, practical money management advice, get signed up to your nearest CAP Money Course here.
2. A recent report by the Money Advice Service revealed that more than 16 million Brits have less than £100 in savings. Savings can be a safety net in case of unexpected disasters – what if the house floods or the car breaks down? Even with insurance, you’ll need to pay an excess, so having a bank of savings to fall back on is essential. Skint Dad’s 1p per day savings challenge could be the ideal place to start.
3. If the last two tips have filled you with dread thinking ’I’m already on a low income and struggling to cope as it is!’ then check out CAP Life Skills, a free, friendly course with practical sessions on shopping, cooking and living better within your means.
4. If you’re a car owner, it’s likely you’ll see a significant drain on your finances caused by car insurance at some point in the year. Money Saving Expert suggests car insurance prices have risen by 16% since last year, so it’s worth looking at ways to bring down the ever-rising cost. For some excellent tips, click here.
5. Did you know 79% of people who took part in Dry January last year say they saved money? The month-long no-alcohol campaign aims to show the health and savings benefits of kicking the booze. Find out how many pennies and calories you could save in a month without drinking here - after all, it doesn't matter if you've missed Dry January, why not task yourself with a Dry February, Dry Summer, or go for a completely Dry 2017? It's in your hands. If you feel your drinking, smoking, gambling or other habit is controlling your life, CAP Release Groups could help.
6. In the UK, we throw away seven million tonnes of food every year – half of which is perfectly edible! Even more shockingly, for an average family with children this equates to a loss of £60 per month, or £700 per year! This year, make the most of your food leftovers and your bank balance will surely thank you - click here for some tasty leftover recipe ideas.
7. If you’re a slave to credit and find you’re often tempted to buy more than you can realistically afford, why not make it your mission this year to opt for cash instead? Draw out your allowance in cash at the start of the month and once it’s gone, it’s gone! Although it takes discipline to stick to it, this is an invaluable way to spend less and take control of your finances.
8. Of course the easiest way to increase your savings is to increase your income, but this can prove difficult when you’re struggling to find work. CAP Job Clubs are designed to give you the skills and self-belief to go out there and get yourself a job. The programme helps more than 350 people find work every year – could you be one of them? Click here to get started.
9. This blog is regularly updated with everyday money saving advice, including budget recipe ideas, top tips and more. Keep an eye out for new posts!
10. Finally, one thing that can make your finances easier to deal with is being honest and open with the people around you. Don’t ever be afraid to talk to your friends, family, partner or children if you’re struggling. Even if they’re not able to help per se, the fact that they know and understand will take pressure off you and give you breathing space to get yourself sorted. Happy 2017!
For free debt advice and to find out more about any of CAP’s services, call 0800 328 0006. Help is available to all, regardless of age, gender, faith and background.