South Lincolnshire Citizens Advice tells you how to keep track of your spending
Question: I keep seeing on the news that my bills could be going up soon. It’s making me really worried, especially as I spent more on Christmas than I should have done. How can I get my spending habits back on track in 2022?
Answer: A lot of people will be asking themselves this question right now. The good news is there are lots of things you can do to be more in control of your money and better prepared for the future.
Firstly, find out exactly what money you have coming in and going out each month. Be realistic about what you need for essentials like food and travel. Then you can set yourself a budget that you can stick to. If any of your bills do go up in the coming year, you can go back to our budgeting tool (available on the national Citizens Advice website-www.citizensadvice.org.uk) anytime to create a new plan and stay in control.
You should also make sure you’re getting all the income you’re entitled to. Use the income checker on the national Citizens Advice website to see if you could be getting more support, such as benefits or government grants. You can also use this to make sure you’re being paid the right wage.
If you’ve been using credit cards, your overdraft or store cards for your spending, it’s understandable if these debts are causing you worry. It’s important to prioritise paying your rent or mortgage, plus energy bills and council tax first though. Not paying these has the most serious consequences. We can help you work out which bills to pay first if you need support and our advisers can help you with budgeting and income maximisation if you struggle to access any of the online tools mentioned above.
Once you have planned how to pay your priority bills, the budgeting tool can help you plan how to repay credit cards, overdraft charges and store cards.
Everyone’s circumstances are different, particularly when it comes to managing personal finances. If you need more specific support or don’t feel able to manage your situation alone, call Adviceline on 0808 278 7996. Alternatively, you can also call the National Debt Helpline on 0800 240 4420. We are here to help you find a way forward.