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

  • HAPPY DAYS
    • 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
  • BUDGET DONE –  A BIT OF WORK TO DO
    • 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.
  • CAN’T MAKE YOUR MONEY GO ROUND?
    • 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.

NO SHAME, NO BLAME, JUST PRACTICAL HELP FROM LIMERICK MABS

Feeling You’ve Messed up ….

When you can’t pay your way, it eats away at you. Have you ever felt like you are shrinking in on yourself and there’s a ball of fear somewhere between your heart and your throat ?

Some very unpleasant things happen to good people.  When illness, loss of a job or relationship breakdown sends your life and your finances into a spin what do you do ?

Most people are so traumatised, they stick their head in the sand and hope things will improve without them doing anything. When life takes a negative twist, and then another; and it feels like the hard times go on and on, it becomes harder and harder to cope.  The power of positive thinking is all very well but it truly is easier said than done.  Over time hope ebbs away.  You lose yourself, who you thought you were drips away.  Stress wears you down even when you can put on a good front.

The bills pile up. You stop opening them.

The people you owe money to call and call and call. You don’t answer them.  You are ashamed.  You have no answers.  It feels like the minute you are not in good standing with your bank or who ever you owe money to, that they start treating you like you are some kind of sub-human.  Dealing with collections agents, no matter how understanding they try to make you perceive them, or how well they think they present themselves, is a body blow.  You want this onslaught of organisational torture and corporate types to stop at you.

The phone ringing frightens you. You feel like screaming but you know that won’t help.

The postman arrives with registered letters. You don’t want to answer the door now.  You feel hunted.

How do you make things better when you don’t know where to turn with the weight of debt ? You’ve messed up.  That’s how it is in your head.

If you are feeling any of this MABS, a free, small local organisation in your town may be for you.  We don’t judge.  Bad things happen to good people.  Most of us are only a few pay days away from times being tough.

It’s a hard thing to do, to take the big, brave step of telling a stranger about the mess. You feel you’ll be judged, made feel small and bad. Telling a stranger who works for Limerick MABS may be just the thing to do to take that first vital footstep on your journey of change.

What do MABS do ? We get it.  We see it every day.  Your situation is unlikely to be the worst we’ve ever seen.  We try to take the weight off you.  We help by letting you let out.  We help by organising, getting your paperwork together and getting your budget down on paper.  We help by treating you like you matter and helping you does matter to us.  We’re at the end of the phone when the envelope arrives that you are just too afraid to open.

Working through your debt can be an emotional journey, we don’t pretend otherwise. The emotion at the start of your journey may be tears of despair or anger. We’ve taken that journey with hundreds of people each year.  We’ve helped people for the last 25 years. A recent client told us we brought him “back from the darkness of hell to sunlight” he had gone from “despair to jumping in the air” because his Money Adviser negotiated a write off of his debt.  The emotion at the end of your journey could be tears of relief.  You could be this person too, we are a phone call 0761 072 210 or an email away limerick@mabs.ie.