Managing your money can feel overwhelming. Yet, there are simple ways you can make changes to improve your situation. You deserve to feel confident and happy about your money, no matter what your salary or circumstances are.
With the right information and guidance, everyone can take small positive steps towards a better financial future. Follow our tips to get started and always contact us if you need further support or guidance.
Set a realistic budget
Setting a realistic budget is a great place to start improving your money management and feeling in control of your finances.
Think about your income, direct debits, standing orders, and subscriptions. Consider what you really need to spend money on every month and how you can budget for it so it doesn’t derail you – often, we forget about small regular expenses, which can add up and send us off track.
To save time creating your own spreadsheet and doing all the calculations, use our free online budget planner.
Monitor your spending
Once your budget is in place, monitor your daily spending habits to stay on track and in control.
Writing down or logging every penny seems time-consuming at first, but it will encourage you to think more seriously about what you spend and avoid mindless overspending. Plus, like any habit, it will become second nature once you stick to it.
Cut back without missing out
When you consider cutting back, you may dread the thought of missing out on treats and experiences.
However, there are plenty of ways to curb your spending without sacrificing things that bring joy into your daily life.
For example, if you shop at Tesco, use the supermarket’s Clubcard rewards scheme to turn points into vouchers to make days out, trips, and restaurant meals cheaper or even free.
Use Compare the Market’s Meerkat Movies vouchers for 2-for-1 midweek cinema trips and discounted food, and always check apps like Olio and Too Good To Go to get hold of heavily discounted or free food that would otherwise go to waste.
Face up to your debt
Rising debt can cause anxiety, stress, depression and strained relationships, not to mention the impact on your credit rating if you miss payments. But the good news is, facing up to your debts is a positive step you can take towards taking back control of your money and feeling better about your financial future.
There are many people and organisations out there waiting to help but remember to think longer term, and do not rush or be pushed into arrangements, such as IVAs.
You can navigate your way to a debt-free life with zero shame or judgement but look for reputable debt advisors. Visit our debt advice locator to take the first step towards becoming debt-free.
If you’re living from one wage slip to the next, you may feel like saving money is completely out of reach to you, but everyone can save something with the right guidance.
Putting aside as little as £5 a week could ease the cost of this Christmas or gradually add up to a nice sum to gift to your children or grandchildren later in life.
The good thing about saving with GMB Credit Union is that you can access good interest rates and be rewarded with an annual dividend payment.
Find out more about simple saving with us here.
Know your triggers
Many of us have emotional triggers that make us overspend, like feeling low, anxious, or hormonal and reaching for the credit card for a fix of retail therapy.
But the high quickly wears off when we see the consequence of that spending on our bank balance or overdraft.
Journaling is a great way to understand and process your emotions better and see where patterns emerge with your emotional spending habits. Seeing it in black and white will help you recognise those patterns and prevent them from happening next time by reminding yourself of your bigger picture.
You don’t need an expensive journal – grab a notebook and pen and let your feelings flow onto the page. If you make this part of your daily routine, you’ll quickly see how it helps you understand yourself better, recover from challenges more easily and make more mindful choices.
Plus, when you identify those moments you would tend to overspend, you can replace the habit with something healthier, like calling a friend, taking a long walk, or running a bath.
Understand your credit rating
Understanding your credit rating and how you can work to improve it is an important step in your journey to take control of your money and feel better about your circumstances.
You can check your credit score for free – find out how here.
If your credit score is low right now, don’t panic – read our blog on 10 ways to improve your credit score to take action towards a brighter future today.
Get support managing your money
If you’re feeling down about money and believe there’s nothing you can do to improve things, please know we are here to help you out of your current situation and guide you towards better days.
We have a host of tips and support on our website to navigate the Cost of Living Crisis – view our website page dedicated to helping you through it.
Not sure where to start? Head to our online Money Navigator to understand which issues to tackle first, how to stay on top of your outgoings, and where to get extra help.
Hiding away from your struggles always makes things worse – so reach out today and feel the weight lifting off your shoulders with the support of your GMB Credit Union.
Speak to us directly by calling 0161 486 1777 or emailing email@example.com – we’re available to chat Monday to Friday 10am – 2pm.