Individuals and families are feeling the impact of national austerity measures and as a result the amount of income left after paying for essential items is decreasing.
This year is yet another year that is delivering families and individuals some tough financial challenges. There are of course other factors that can contribute to financial difficulties such as illness, relationship breakdown an unexpected expense such as a fire, death, robbery etc. However, this financial year need not mean unnecessary stress and debt. What ever your circumstances are we hope that by encouraging you to look at your finances honestly it will help you highlight where your money is going and start you on the first steps of budgeting and managing your money more effectively.
We need to change our view of and relationship with money. Budgeting is the key. While most of us find budgeting boring it is absolutely essential - a budget is a plan of money you expect to receive and how you expect to spend it.
A budget is important because it will show you:
- How much money is coming into your household.
- How much money is going out.
- How much you can afford to offer to those you owe money to.
- How you can best plan your spending in the future.
Longford Credit Union's Top Golden Tips for Managing Your Money are:
Keep track of your spending. Keep your receipts or take note of what you spend your money on. It will help you understand where your money is going and it might just be an eye opener.
Estimate your income and expenditure for a set period and budget accordingly. But be realistic and don't underestimate!
Get into the habit of saving. Try to save at least 5% of your regular income for emergencies.
Shop around and get the best deals and look at cost comparison websites.
There are times in our lives when we run short of funds. If you have to take out a loan, be sure you only borrow what you can comfortably afford to repay. You should match the repayment term to the purpose of the loan i.e. don't make the mistake of paying off Christmas over a number of years. Best advice is to stay away from credit cards and not to use Money-Lenders.