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I don't know where to start

(7 Posts)
andabouttime Thu 26-Jun-14 13:24:19

Oh help me please.
I am embarrassed to admit how much of a pickle I am in. I have, almost all of my adult life lurched from financial disaster to disaster but well the time has come to straighten it all out.
I don’t have a budget but know I should and I don’t really know where my money goes so I guess that is the first thing I should do but I don’t really know where to start
I work and am on my own, I get no support from my DD’s father and as he has no money there is no point in trying. I claim housing benefit and tax credit. The current situation is that I have just had my HB cut significantly so I can pay back a huge overpayment and have a new job and have lost my council tax benefit because of my new (since last Sept) job. This has just bitten me on the backside as I had just not told them about the new job, I am not really sure how it happened but I just forgot to. I never have anything spare at the end of the month and quite regularly use my overdraft, I also have a credit card balance of about £1000 and a bank loan that I am slowly paying off.
I really need to sort out a realistic budget and stick to it but I have no idea how to start.

Cindy34 Thu 26-Jun-14 13:53:16

Not really sure what help you want but maybe a starting point is to go through bank and credit card statements to see what you are spending money on.

Create lists of your expenses - group by whatever category you like. Try categories like Housing Costs (so rent, mortgage, council tax, electricity, gas), Food Costs (so all you spend on food), Entertainment (going out, dvds, movie rentals, game downloads, magazines).
Once you know what you spend your money on, you can then see where some reductions could be made.

Cindy34 Thu 26-Jun-14 14:00:52

May be useful to read the You Need A Budget book.
Free PDF

Also see messages on here about YNAB. You do not need the software, though can buy it if you like. Reading the book will help you put expenses into categories and reviewing what is an essential bill and what are not.

everythingsgoingsouth Thu 26-Jun-14 14:16:06

hi, at least you know there is a problem now and you want to sort, that's the first thing.

gather up all paperwork for debts, find out exact totals/minimum payments and interest rates.

look at past few months bank statements and figure out where your money goes,( mark off onto different categories with crayons if it helps)
ie. food, clothes, going out, bills ,child costs etc.

make a list of all your direct debits and go through each one-do you need it, can you reduce it,can you shop around for a better deal?

go through cupboards/fridge/freezer make a list of All the stuff you have in and make a meal plan using it all up.

have a go at filling this in

have a look at the website and its forums, loads of advice there.

good luck

foxdongle Thu 26-Jun-14 15:09:58

Is it possible to have as many bills as possible paid by direct debit straight after you have been paid?
Then you know what you are left with.

Also write a meal plan and shopping list and don't be tempted by other things.

Next I would prioritise paying off the cc, as much as you can, as the sooner you get rid of that, the better off you will be. Could you transfer it to one with 0% interest?

When you have and stick to a budget, you will hopefully have some spare money left at the end of the month.

Seems obvious, but only buy what you actually need and see if you can sell unwanted things, it all adds up.

TalkinPeace Thu 26-Jun-14 15:47:22

Come and join the debt thread ....
It is a very friendly and supportive place and we regularly have new people taking the plunge to sort their lives out.

Also, have a look at my spreadsheets
as there are magic tricks that get debts paid off really fast that the banks will never EVER tell you about.

andabouttime Fri 27-Jun-14 10:04:50

Thank you ladies.
I was not really sure what help i wanted but your posts have all been a great start.
I started writing a list last night of what i do spend my money on and another on what are essentials. so I have at least made a start. Untill I hear from the council about how much I will be getting in HB now they are aware of the new job.
I will pop into the debt thread.
Big thanks again.

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