Changes to your job at any time in your career can affect your income and as we move forward into the new 2021 financial year, now is a good time to consider doing the best for your finances. Here we want to let you know about some useful money management tips and tools, from budget planners to a handy salary calculator.
The new tax year also brought changes to the tax thresholds, which are now fixed for the next 5 years, along with increases in both the National Living Wage and the National Minimum Wage. You can learn more about these, and how it might affect your income here.
Managing your money
Managing your money doesn’t have to be complicated and there are some simple techniques that can be used. Here are some ideas that can help you organise your finances, see where your money is going, and help you prioritise what needs paying and when.
Top 5 tips for money management
- Create a budget according to your essential needs, bills, debts, savings and ‘fun stuff’. Take care of the necessary bills first so you avoid accruing any further debt.
- Set up direct debits for bills and savings so that the money is paid automatically each month.
- Use the ‘piggy bank’ method to assign several money pots for specific purposes such as bills, food, car expenses, going out. Divide your money between the pots, according to your budget each week or month, so you know exactly what you have to spend on each.
- The ‘snowball’ method is a debt repayment technique. List all debts from smallest to largest. Make minimum payments on all of them but, when possible, pay extra each month on the smallest, until it is paid off. Then move on to the next one.
- Challenge yourself not to spend money on something, such as no daily coffee for a month or no new clothes for a year. Put aside the money you would have spent and see the pennies add up.
Help, support and advice
To have a good relationship with money means understanding how to manage it to achieve your financial goals. Start by looking at your financial situation, talking to the appropriate people and using the help and tools available.
An important stage in getting your finances organised is to talk about any problems you may be having, and how it is affecting your well-being.
The following are some useful resources that offer support and advice in various aspects of money management.
Mental Health UK has teamed up with Lloyds Bank to create a useful resource aimed at those experiencing issues relating to mental health and money. The website offers practical advice and support offering some useful tips and tools on managing money, dealing with debt, and getting help.
Cool tool: A free downloadable mental health and money toolkit to help you understand your finances and find the support you need.
Set up by the government, the Money Advice Service provides free and impartial financial advice. Their aim is to help people understand the various services available and how those facing problem debt can get the help they need.
Cool tool 1: Money Health Check will give you a clear picture of your finances and suggests practical ways to improve them..
Cool tool 2: A free budget planner to help you break down your finances and get in control with a personalised plan. Use the Blue Arrow salary calculator to determine your take home pay when completing the planner.
Call free on 0800 138 7777. Monday to Friday, 8am to 6pm.
The Citizens Advice website has lots of information to help you understand how to manage money and debt. They also offer free and confidential advice.
Cool tool: Debt and Money is a directory with lots of useful links to provide further information.
Call the Adviceline free on 0800 144 8848 (England) or 0800 702 2020 (Wales). Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm.
Step Change offers free advice on debt, COVID payment plans, mortgages and more. The website has lots of useful information to help you learn more about managing your money and tips on saving.
Cool tool: The Debt Advice Tool works out your budget and gives you a personal action plan based on a comprehensive assessment of your unique situation.
Call free on 0800 138 1111. Monday to Friday, 8am to 8pm and Saturday 8am to 4pm.
From information on banking, to deals on shopping, Money Saving Expert is a wealth of information and advice. Their section on budgeting and debt help has lots of useful suggestions and tools.
Cool tool 1: The Demotivator is a fun tool that shows the real impact of spending on non-essential items.
Cool tool 2: The Free Budget Planner is a spreadsheet and will take some time to complete, but it will give you good insight into where your money is going and how you can budget better.
Blue Arrow Salary Calculator
When using any of the budgeting tools mentioned above, knowing your income is going to be important. However, working out your actual take home pay after tax and National Insurance (NI) can be quite tricky. This is where our salary calculator comes in handy. Just pop your weekly wage or annual salary into the tool and it will estimate your monthly, weekly, daily, and hourly pay. You can read more about the salary calculator in our Caree blog post here.
Good money management is important for keeping on top of your finances. Whatever your circumstances, there is help to get you back on track. Whether it is speaking to someone by contacting an advice service, using a money health check, a budgeting tool or the Blue Arrow salary calculator tool, all these will help you reassess your situation and plan for a more comfortable financial future.
For more help with understanding your take home pay, read some of our earlier blogs:
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