Take Control of Your Money

Taking the time to manage your money can really pay off.

You don’t need to feel manic about money; flustered that your bank account is bare or panicky that your purse has nothing in it but loose change.  There is another way to live, a way which puts you in control of your money rather than money or the lack of it, controlling you.

The first step in taking control of your finances is in building a budget.  The thought of building a budget may not make your pulse quicken with excitement.  Facing your realities may be scary but doing your budget will be worth the effort.  Many people who work with us tell us “I wish I’d contacted you sooner, I could have avoided so much stress”.

Having a budget makes you

  • less likely to end up in debt
  • less likely to be unable face unexpected costs
  • more likely to have peace of mind when it comes to money matters
  • more likely to be prepared to pay your way
  • more likely to have savings for a rainy day
  • more likely to be able to control your spending and spot savings you can make
  • more likely to be able to borrow when you need to
  • more likely to be able to save for things that give you pleasure … a holiday, a new car, a little treat

How do you Build a Budget

Building a budget can be as simple as making 2 lists.  First list your income.  Next list your spending.

Budget Sheet

What building blocks will you need to Build your Budget

  • Your household bills
  • Your latest bank statements
  • Your payslips (whether you are getting a welfare payment, a wage or a salary)
  • Think about and write down what you spend on
    • Food
    • Education costs
    • Travel
    • Leisure
    • Clothes
    • Occasions, such as birthdays and Christmas

You don’t need to have perfect information to start your budget, just get the information you have and make a start.  You can fill in any missing figures when you get them.

Don’t know what you spend?

Call, email or private message Limerick MABS for free spending diaries.  Write everything you spend in these for a few weeks.  This will make it really clear where your money goes.

When your budget is built

    • You find you have more money than you need to pay all your expenses
    • You can move on to thinking about saving for rainy days
    • You can plan to have some of life’s little treats
    • You find your outgoings add up to more than your income
      • Work out if there are places where you can cut back
        • make lunches at home
        • plan your weekly menu and shopping so that you control your spending – our FREE cook book 101 Square Meals may help you to do this
      • Work out if you are spending on things you don’t need
        • a gym membership you don’t use ?
        • transport costs you could cut down by walking?
      • Get everyone in your household involved
        • make a plan you can all stick to
        • agree how much you will each spend
      • Try to cut your household bills
        • switch utility providers
        • look out for deals and offers
      • Review your spending and budget regularly – your spending changes and with luck your income will go up over time.
      • Make sure you are getting your correct tax credits and any social welfare payments you are entitled to.
    • If you can’t make your income and expenditure balance give Limerick MABS a call.
    • A professional money adviser can work with you FREE of charge to get your budget built.



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