Where does my money go?
Sorry – it’s been a while since I last blogged… I’m rubbish at budgeting my time… things take us by surprise, suddenly you wonder where the week has gone. You end up tired and un-productive.
It’s a bit like money too. We get the odd nasty shock that sucks money out of our pocket. Other times we wonder where it all went, and why at the end of the month we’re on the breadline and overdrawn.
If that sounds like you, then possibly the most important thing you can do is to write down what you spend. I’d really like you to try two things.
1) Write down all your regular and generally essential payments. Rent, childcare, gas and electricity bills. Anything that hits you regularly, every week or every month. Try if you can to categorise it. So you might put Rent and Council Tax together under housing. Gas, electric, water might go under utilities. Phone, mobile and broadband go together. You might have a car and other travel needs.
Lots of it will be regular weekly, monthly or quarterly payments. Some might even happen each year. If you can try and make it work out to one time period. I find monthly works best, but that’s because I get paid monthly and most of my direct debits are now monthly too. But use whatever works best for you. The important thing is to write them all down.
2) The other thing to do is to keep a diary of what you spend more generally over the course of a week. Try and write it all down. From the pint of milk at the local shop, to lunch, to the trip to the cinema. Whatever it is, make a note of it. Do a weekly diary. And please don’t cheat. There is no point, you are only cheating you and your family… so no ifs, no buts, no this was a one-off chocolate bar, it doesn’t normally happen. It all goes down. Please!
Why am I getting you to do this?
Lots of us – and I’m talking the vast majority of the UK population – don’t really know how much we spend. So why not find out?
These are two fairly simple ways of getting more of a handle on our outgoings. To understand where our money goes. And once we have a better understanding – we can get more in control.