Planning Your Finances Ahead 101

You’ve worked hard for your money, so now it’s time to make sure your money works for you. Here are six key tips to help you take control of your personal finances and ensure your outgoings don’t exceed your income.


Create a realistic budget, factoring in not only your day-to-day cost of living, but also setting aside funds for one off annual expenditures like holidays or Christmas.

It’s also a good idea to keep a small financial cushion for unexpected costs such as home repairs or vehicle breakdowns.

Use cash

Credit and debit cards can make overspending too easy.

Once you’ve worked out your weekly budget, withdraw that amount in cash at the start of the week to make sure you don’t overspend. Get receipts, review your spending and alter your budget accordingly.

Direct debits

Do you pay multiple direct debits like a monthly phone plan or a gym membership? Make sure you carefully monitor how these payments affect your finances, and make the positive decision to cancel any unnecessary direct debits if you need to.


If you’re self-employed, you might consider setting up a separate savings account where you can deposit a portion of your earnings for tax purposes. This could save you from being caught out when it comes to filing your tax return.

Short term loans

As much as we try to keep on top of things, the unexpected can sometimes leave us in need of a quick boost to our finances. Short term loans could provide a solution, as long as you’re confident that you can make the repayment once the loan period is up.

Prioritise repayments

If you have debts, assess each one to ascertain which debt is costing you the most in interest. Then focus your energy on repaying that debt first.

Following these tips could help you on your way to a more financially secure future. Don’t be afraid to seek free independent advice from such services as the Citizen’s Advice Bureau or StepChange.

This infographic from MYJAR will help you to identify areas of your life where you can save money. And remember, even if you save small amounts each month, it will add up to a significant amount over a period of time.

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