Grab The Meic: I Need To Manage My Money Better
This week is Talk Money Week and that’s exactly what Tom did. He Grabbed the Meic to ask us for advice on how to manage his money better so he could stop borrowing from family.
Grab the Meic is your opportunity to ask us about anything that’s worrying you. We’re here to listen and give advice. If you want to #grabthemeic then check out this page, but remember this advice is not instant. If you need advice quickly then please contact the helpline.
This article is also available in Welsh – clicia yma
I never have any money and keep borrowing from mum at the end of the month – how can I manage my money better?
Tom (*name changed to protect their identity)
Thanks for getting in touch with us here at Grab the Meic. Sorry to hear that you are experiencing some money difficulties but the good news is that it is never too late to take steps to improve your finances.
Where is it going wrong?
Borrowing from the bank of mum can really put a strain on what can be an important relationship. What’s more, not having financial independence can also negatively impacting your self-confidence. So, what are your options?
It sounds like you need to work out where it is going wrong. The fact that you need to borrow money from mum at the end of the month suggests that the money that you have coming in (incomings) is not enough to cover all the payments and expenditures you have going out (outgoings).
A good place to start is to write a list of your incoming money and your outgoing money.
- Incoming money – this could be wages, an allowance from family, a benefit payment or a student loan allowance.
- Outgoing money – all money that needs to be paid out each month, this could be anything from rent, a bag of dog food or your Netflix subscription.
Ok so now you have made your lists you basically need to compare your incoming and outgoing spending. It’s likely that these don’t currently match up but to manage your money well, they need to.
If your outgoings are higher than your incomings then you don’t have enough money coming in to be able to afford everything you’re spending on. So what next?
This is when you should think about introducing a budget. This is a great tool to help you manage your money. It can help you get greater control of where your money is going and allows you to look at where to make savings. It’s important to try and think of all your weekly/monthly costs when making a budget, as this will give you a clearer picture of what you need to spend.
The Money Advice Service has a great budget planner with some great tips and a free template.
Time to start cutting back
You’ve made your budget but you’re still spending more money that you’re getting in. Now’s the time to look at your spending and see where you can cut back.
Have a look at where you’re overspending and think about how you might be able to reduce your outgoings. This could be anything from finding a cheaper food shop to being more careful to budget your monthly clothes allowance. With contactless card spending and paying with your phone, it can be easy to spend money but not so easy to track. This makes it hard to work out where you’re overspending.
Try keeping a weekly spending diary. It may help to make it clearer where you’re over-spending those precious pounds. You may have some difficult decisions to make about how you’re spending your money, but try to remember that financial independence will definitely be worth it in the long term.
It’s not always easy to cut back on the things that you enjoy but one benefit of better money management is that you will eventually be able to start saving.
When you want something think about whether you really need it. If you find that you’re overspent at the end of the month because you’ve bought something you wanted but couldn’t really afford, then it might be time to challenge your own thinking. Spending money in this way is often called living outside your means and can lead to problems such as debt, so it’s a bad habit to get into.
If you really want something then why not try saving for it first? Getting into the habit of saving means you could be in a better position when you’re ready to buy your first car or first house. Saving can also give you great satisfaction and a feeling of achievement. This would also mean not having to borrow from the bank of mum.
Check out the advice that the Money Advice Service has on their website.
We hope these tips have been helpful if there is anything that you don’t understand or you’d like some more information, support or help to start with that budget, then contact us on the Meic helpline every day between 8am and midnight.
The Meic Team