And embarrasingly, I'm not a new Mum, or a new homeowner. But I am utterly utterly broke, and up to my eyeballs in debt. I work full time, and have a decent wage, usual outgoings including mortgage, car insurance, bills etc. I also have 2 loans and 2 maxed out credit cards. By the time I pay everything off at the start of the months I very little to spend on food bills and petrol. I keep going overdrawn and then get bank charges. So please, any tips would be really welcome. I really really need to get a grip on this.
First of all, you need to keep a cash book for a month and write all your spending down. That's all your spending.
Next a good idea might be to try out the You Need A Budget software, which comes with a free trial and free training seminars. It's not particularly expensive and it can sync with your smart phone if you want it to. The software recommends you plan forward, so the money your earn in December goes to cover January spending, and so on.
Finally you need a debt plan, to pay a bit off each month. It may be necessary to get extra work (even if it's babysitting) or sell some things to speed up the process.
Definitely keep a book/ app and write down everything you spend. Also sit down with the last few months bank statements and make a list of all your regular outgoings (bills, petrol, travel, rent...) and income (pay, benefits...). Also list yearly outgoings (insurance, road tax, dentist) and when they need to be paid. Then you should have a better idea where you are.
Agree moneysavingexpert has good advice. Good luck.
This isn't very hi-tech, but I took my credit and debit cards out of my purse simply so I didn't have spontaneous access to them.
I stopped internet shopping for things that were frivolous.
I no longer use my cedit card and I only take my debit card out once a week to get the cash I need for the week. And then I don't use it otherwise.
I then had someone who's better at maths work out how long I'd need to do this according to my income and outgoings (we created a spread sheet that included my debt reduction trajectory). My cash amount was based on what I need to spend in the week on travel, food and at least one bit of fun (a meal out with a friend, a bottle of wine, etc.). It took a year and I cleared my overdraft last month. I've kept my spending habits as I find I'm wasting less on food I don't eat (I do more meal planning now) and clothes that aren't a smart buy. I'm less generous than I used to be, and that's a shame, I feel miserly, but now I want to build up a savings as being in debt was so uncomfortable, so I'm still watching the pennies.
I have heard of people putting their credit cards wrapped in plastic and put in a container in the freezer to stop them spending on them not sure if that is a good thing though ! If you have excel you can make yourself a spreadsheet, with all your costs written down , I would start with the easy ones like mortgage, life insurance, telephone etc and then add things like car insurance ( if it is yearly divide the cost by 12 ), mot etc.. and do that with all your fixed costs that you have. The general rule has to be to pay off the most expensive interest rate loans first as long there are no penalities to do so, so each month you pay a little more off the loan. Or you could just allocate jars for food shopping, petrol etc and allocate money every month to these. The money saving expert website has been mentioned upthread and it is well worth a look. Good luck .