Tips for managing your money
The current economic climate means managing your money and knowing how to budget are important skills to have. Life may be very different now to 50 years ago but many older people have been there and done it. Here, mum of two Mary Gregory shares her top tips.
Mary’s budget know-how
Make a list of everything you’ve got to pay out. You have to know the cost of all your bills so that you know what’s left is yours. Work out your weekly budget and stick to it. Don’t spend more than is necessary. If we didn’t have the money we didn’t go out. We would make the most of our time at home together as a family.
Set up direct debits to pay your bills. It’s often a cheaper way to pay and it also means you know all your essentials are covered.
I wrote everything down, it really helped to plan out meals for the week
so I only bought what I knew we needed. If you can see how much you
spend on everything you can soon see if you’re spending too much.
Markets are great places to get cheap vegetables. In fact, markets are great places for all kinds of bargains. And you get to know local traders who can give you the best deals.
You don’t need to eat meat every day. We would only have meat two or three times a week and then it would be the cheaper cuts bulked out with lots of vegetables.
Young people probably can’t believe what we used to do. But a spreadsheet is the same as a notebook, and it will add the figures up for you, too!
You must know exactly what you have in the bank. Every time you take something out, keep a record.
Find out if you’re entitled to benefits. I might need financial help to
be able to stay in the area where I’m living, and I’m finding out if I’m
entitled to housing benefit and if I am, I’ll claim it.
Start an ISA, a tax-free savings account, and save what you can.
If you are out of work for a while and you are not claiming, aim to keep paying your National Insurance contributions to make sure you get the best pension you can in the future.
Please exercise your common sense when considering these tips and whether to take any of the steps that may be suggested in them.
The tips have been provided by members of the public who have contributed to our Royal Voluntary Service Nationwise campaign so whilst we hope you will find them helpful, we cannot make any promises about their accuracy or completeness and we don’t accept any responsibility for the results of your reliance on them.