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Talk to Barclays about budgeting - £200 voucher prize draw! MORE QUESTIONS ADDED! NOW CLOSED
113

MichelleMumsnet · 04/04/2014 15:03

Barclays have asked us to find out how Mumsnetters approach budgeting and what banks can do to make the process easier.

Here’s what Barclays say, “Raising a family is no walk in the park and presents its fair share of challenges (from how much TV the kids should watch to making sure they get their 7-a-day) and budgeting for childcare is probably one of the biggest challenges mums and dads face, especially if you’re a working parent.

The Government’s planned childcare subsidy for September 2015 means that working parents can join a new scheme offering a 20% rebate on childcare costs, worth up to £2,000 a year. For many working mums and dads this is big news – but a long way off. So, how do you handle budgeting in the meantime?

We’d love to find out more about the budgeting challenges that you’re up against as a working mum or dad – and what could be done to make managing your money easier before the subsidy is introduced in September next year.”

So, how do you manage budgeting within your family? Maybe you have a comprehensive spreadsheet which you use to keep track of spending? Or perhaps you are a keen voucher collector to help save money? Do you have any ideas on how your bank could help you make budgeting easier? Whatever they are, we’d love to hear them.

Everyone who adds their thoughts to this thread will be entered into a prize draw to win a £200 Love2Shop voucher.

Thanks and good luck,

MNHQ

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GreenShadow · 04/04/2014 19:27

I have completed this, but I don't think I was their target market as my DC are old enough not to need childcare.

Perhaps this should only be aimed at those with pre-teens for instance, the first question doesn't have a category for those who don't need childcare.

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sharond101 · 04/04/2014 20:46

We have an in and out goings spreadsheets which charts our earnings with our bills and monthly expenses (food, petrol etc.) We factor in some free money for holidays and special occasions and then we get a forecast for the year as to how much we will save. This then goes towards paying off our mortgage. It works fantastically for us. We use an account that sweeps money from a current to savings account so we never need to worry about going into overdraft or getting a better rate.

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Paintyfingers · 05/04/2014 01:52

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

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InMySpareTime · 05/04/2014 08:06

We have a spreadsheet which we (as a family) reconcile with the bank statement each month. We check each quarter that we're on track in each spending category, adjusting "pots" where necessary.

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TheBigBumTheory · 05/04/2014 08:33

We have an account which covers food, toiletries, cleaning stuff-essentials basically which we keep just for that. We transfer a fixed amount into that account each month so that we don't overspend. We also transfer savings straight away out of the current account so that it always seems that there is no money to fritter.

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CheeryCherry · 05/04/2014 08:51

Pre-DC we had a joint account from which we paid the bills. My earnings were for holidays and treats as we had a small mortgage. As a SAHM we tightened up, my wage was gone so we paid all bills from my DH wage. Child benefit was for clothes and holidays. Now we are struggling, mortgage/bills are too big and salaries both been frozen for 4 years. We have to monitor all outgoings on the money savings website spreadsheet. But we have an overspend, are trying to downsize the house and bills. I'm interested to see how others are coping.

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ItsNotUnusualToBe · 05/04/2014 08:53

I wish I could export my online account details straight into a spreadsheet.

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Angelina77 · 05/04/2014 08:59

Agree with that, exporting data to spreadsheet would be useful. I'm expecting my first baby so I'm thinking about starting to budget more carefully.

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Theincidental · 05/04/2014 09:07

I agree about exporting account details to a csc file - that would make it much easier to manage and scrutinise. I use an online balance checker/ mini statement app daily to keep track as well.

Shopping lists are budgeted out as well with costs so i know how much I will spend.

I have no spare cash at all, so anything spent is absolutely necessary.

I don't think the childcare cash is anything brilliant at all - it's a small plaster on a huge wound.

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themitch21 · 05/04/2014 09:31

We have a spreadsheet for all our bills as well as making use of our banks mobile banking app on our smartphones. It's handy to be able to see your balance at a glance when you're out and about. It definitely makes you think twice about purchasing unneccessary items.

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superbagpuss · 05/04/2014 12:46

I have a spreadsheet for bank account and credit card that I reconcile monthly. dh tells me what he's spends and it get reconciles once a month by me

it helps me plan for big events such as holidays/ christmas

Barclay's sends me a weekly balance text which I find very useful

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MakeTeaNotWar · 05/04/2014 13:02

We're a bit crap at budgeting - we have a joint account from which household bills are paid but never anticipate those one-off costs such as MOTs, TV licence etc. I would love to be able to export our account transactions into a spreadsheets with monthly tabs to be able to see how and when our money moves

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Lovewhereilive · 05/04/2014 13:50

We keep an eye on what we are spending. Shop at Aldi to save money.

Always compare prices on the Internet to get the best deal.

If we can't afford it we don't buy it.

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GrasshopperNchipmunk · 05/04/2014 13:54

The only way I can budget and save effectively is having loads of different accounts with different banks. It is annoying, but works for me as I can save for a family holiday, Christmas, bills & childcare and also have some savings for me, and family savings. I also have a change pot for pound coins/ 50p's and another for silvers and coppers - these normally go towards days out or Christmas. I'm currently on maternity leave so I do some surveys online, ebay things and use cashback websites to get us a little bit more cash.

My salary pays for all the big bills e.g. mortgage, childcare, insurance, council tax and savings (my salary gets allocated to different things as soon as I get paid so I don't generally see it). My husbands salary pays for the every day running of the house, e.g. food, petrol, clothes, birthday presents, days out, children's activities etc. By doing this we are restricted to not go over our budget on a week to week basis as my husband gets paid weekly.

I would love to be able to use a spreadsheet but don't think I have the time or patience. I know I can save more money - I need to be more disciplined!

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GrasshopperNchipmunk · 05/04/2014 13:58

Also, I use mobile banking so I am very aware of exactly how much we have to spend, and how much we have saved. I find this really useful as it stops me from overspending.

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Nottheshrinkingcapgrandpa · 05/04/2014 14:18

We have a spreadsheet detailing everything, and know how much we will have at any pojnt in the month roughly. However, the price of groceries seem to go up constantly and it feels like we are fighting the tide a times as we can only cut back so much.

We also Internet bank and check our balances daily so we are hyper aware of our spending.

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iwantavuvezela · 05/04/2014 14:58

I have just started to keep a spreadsheet of the "bigger picture' stuff, e.g. Estimates for electricity and gas, council tax, pension payment , insurance, car insurance, after school activities, mortgage etc. most of these are paid out of our accounts at beginning of month, then depending on what is needed, I budget the left over money!
My husband works as a freelancer, when he had a fixed income it was much easier to save and budget. Now, he may not get paid for a month, then get a bigger sum in, and it makes it harder to save. We need to think
More creatively how to save within this new framework of working for us.
What is harder is to know if we will have money to go on holiday. Theoretically we should, but then what happens in practice is a job my husband is booked on might be cancelled or delayed, or a company delays his payment.

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RubySparks · 05/04/2014 15:06

Joint account for bills and pay everything like electric, council tax, mortgage etc by direct debit, also transferring set amount to savings accounts each month for us and for DCs. So any money left is just for daily spends and try to have lots of no spend days...

It is important to deal with debts first, then overpay mortgage so that your money is really yours and you are not earning just to pay it all out again.

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ThingsThatGoBumpInTheNight · 05/04/2014 15:07

I have two Barclays accounts one of which is dedicated bills. It's enabled me to start paying a lot of things by direct debit as I don't need to keep track of lots if different paying out dates, simply transfer money from main acc to bill acc and review the amount every now and again to make sure I'm putting enough in.
Paying by direct debit has saved me money against things like prepaid electric and gas for example Smile
I wish companies would take standing orders once a week or month though, they all seem to want money on different dates Blush but I no longer have to worry about forgetting one is due and then facing it bouncing and the bank charges that go hand in hand with that.

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piscivorous · 05/04/2014 15:22

We are also beyond the point of budgeting for childcare but still manage the family finances in much the same way as we always did.

We have a joint account that DHs salary goes into (one of those that pays you £5 a month if you put over £1000 in), all the standing orders and direct debits come out of this. My salary goes into a separate account in my name (another £5 a month one) which we try to save for extra expenses and use as a buffer if the other one runs low. We can do all of this via the internet.
All the shopping and other stuff if possible goes on the Tesco credit card which gets us lots of points and we clear it every month. By doing all of those we try to maximise what we get back from our banks

DH keeps a track of monthly income and expenditure and every 6 months produces a spreadsheet of everything financial; asset value, ISAs, insurance less any debts so we know exactly where we are up to.

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HolidayArmadillo · 05/04/2014 15:23

I've just started to get a grip on our finances as we're trying to save hard for a deposit, I work out how much we have on a month to month basis, total up direct debits and then divide whatever we have left into however many weeks there are in the month, I then transfer the weekly amount into a separate account so we can not overspend for the week, once it's gone it's gone. Should also say I deduct an amount to save from the total at the beginning of the month!

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HolidayArmadillo · 05/04/2014 15:24

I'd love an account that I could segment off somehow into different pots, so I could only spend money I had put aside for spending, like separate accounts within an account.

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supadupapupascupa · 05/04/2014 15:25

I periodically download our statements and allocate every transaction to a category which feeds a master cashflow statement. I forecast each month and replace with actuals. This way I can budget for things like christmas without having to worry about 'pots' which I just don't have the patience to keep up todate.I just read the closing balance line for the next 12 months and make sure we are within our limits. So we have a view of the next 12 months ish and can see trends in our spending. our problem areas are the 'shopping' category. I have to manually split it all out from receipts so that we can see booze, food, clothing etc

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Willemdefoeismine · 05/04/2014 15:33

Not organised enough in this house to go down the spreadsheet route Blush.

However we have a joint account which pays all the household expenses by DD/SO right at the end of the month (just after payday) so then we can relax and know that the remaining monies are ours to budget with as we wish (or not as the case may be!).

I'm very aware of where we are with the available funds day on day and will adjust outgoings accordingly. Don't think DH has a clue though but thankfully he has his own separate account!

I do find though that I get an awful lot more value for money out of the joint account funds than DH ever does out of his! I think it's because I am a canny shopper in the main.

Not sure I've ever been aware of our bank suggesting helping us to budget - it's not really in their interests is it, as there's such big money to be made from people's lack of budgeting prowess!

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HilaryMantelshelf · 05/04/2014 15:35

I like the sound of the Barclay's weekly balance text - wish my bank offered that.

Dh and I have a very frugal mindset and don't willingly pay full price for anything.

I wish banks offered some helpful impartial financial advice. I'm so cynical about them just wanting their commission and not working in my best interests that a couple of years ago I knee-jerk declined the cashiers' suggestions about having the new acct and credit card they were bringing out, when in reality once I investigated and signed up, it was brilliant and is saving us lots of money.

I know I could go to an independent financial advisor but I don't trust them either so rely on newspaper articles and the Martin Lewis site. I'm sure if we were more clever with our money like the rich we would be quids in.

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