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Making my money go further

When you move into your new property you will need to start thinking about how you spend your money.  Money can disappear through your hands like water if you are not careful.  Downloading an app a day can cost you a minimum of £30 per month.  Having a takeout coffee from one of the big chains every day from Monday to Friday can cost £22/mth.  Buying a single small packet of crisps every day could cost you £15/mth.  Whenever you are about to buy anything from a shop, pause for a few moments and think about whether you really need it or not.

Find below some other tips to make sure you are not wasting your money:

  • Try to buy products in the biggest pack you can afford (unless it will go off) as this saves money over time
  • Buy multi-use cleaning products that work on floors, sinks, toilets and kitchen surfaces
  • Save electricity by buying low energy light bulbs, don’t leave TV’s games consoles and other electrical equipment on stand-by and switch off everything when you are not using it.
  • Look at the reduced items shelves in the supermarket and the high street shops
  • Reduce your heating costs by keeping doors shut, wearing extra layers of clothes, and having the heating on low but for longer, rather than high for a short time.  Electric and storage heaters tend to be more expensive than gas fires.
  • If you have a landline phone, cut your bill by only making calls at off peak times or by having an incoming calls only phone. 
  • Look at the way you use your mobile phone and how much do you spend every month to use it – are there better deals out there for you than the contract you are on or are you spending far too much on your pay-as-you-go phone.
  • Save hot water by having a shower instead of a bath and don’t use the washing machine until you have a full load.
  • If you use buses and/or trains a lot will it be cheaper to use a travel pass.
  • Try NOT to buy products on hire purchase, credit cards or catalogues.  The interest that you have to pay means that these things will cost you a lot more. 
  • Avoid borrowing money from door step lenders – it will cost you lot in the long run.  Consider joining your local credit union instead www.castleandcrystal.co.uk

 For further money saving tips and ideas go to www.moneysavingexpert.com

Budgeting and debt

Thinking about how to deal with your household expenditure might seem pretty dull but if you don’t pay your rent regularly and on time you could be evicted, if you don’t pay your council tax you could end up in prison and if you don’t pay your regular bills you could have your gas or electricity supply cut off or have your phone disconnected.

As we said in the “Can I afford to have my own place section?” it is important to work out how much income you need every month to keep your household running.  When you get your income or benefits you need to know how much you need to put aside to pay for the household bills. 

There are certain things you can do and set up in order to help with this:

Direct debit – you could set up a bank account and put all the money you need for your household bills regularly into this account and set up direct debits for the money to be taken out.  You will generally get discounts on your bills if you decide to pay this way

Meter cards – some people put the money they need for their gas and electricity for the month or fortnight onto a meter card as soon as they get paid

If you find yourself getting into debt or are worried that you are going to struggle to pay your household bills, you should seek some advice as soon as possible. For further help with these matters you could look at the following websites or ring the numbers that go with them:

www.creditaction.org.uk – 0800 138 1111

www.nationaldebtline.co.uk – 0808 808 4000

www.adviceguide.org.uk or visit your local CAB or ring them on 01384 816 222 









Also see the following for more information: