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Are you a saver or a spender?

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Buying things is great. It doesn’t matter whether it’s booking a holiday, catching up with
friends over a coffee or purchasing a new gift for the kids. I struggle to get through the
checkout without slipping chocolate into my trolley. But without a budget, that nice feeling
from buying something would wear off too quickly.

When you hear the word ‘budget’, what does it make you feel? Restricted, controlled,
stressed? Or maybe you don’t have ‘time’ to budget.

At first, the idea of budgeting to me, wasn’t as sexy as spending. It looked too hard and
restrictive. But I couldn’t have been more wrong. Even though I’m a massive spender, over
the past eight years I’ve learnt the benefit of budgeting. I want to challenge the myth that
budgeting is boring. It’s actually empowering and puts you more in control of those pounds,
than you may think.

Having a budget for your income allows you to prioritise what you want to spend your
money on. It allows you to be in the driving seat of your finances and make the decisions
you want to make. It allows you to see where every penny of your money is going. It
reduces the stress and pressure to get to the next payday.

Budgeting is simply, prioritising what you want to spend your money on and then spending
it. It’s simply about getting a true picture of your money and making small adjustments.

My husband and I have lived on one income for the past four years and even before that I
was only paid one day a week whilst my husband was paid full time, so we know what it is
like to live on a lower income. We have two kids to feed, a car to run, bills to pay and we still
manage to save each month.

Does it make our life any less fun? NO! I would argue that it is less stressful because I am in
control of my money and only spending what I have available. When the washing machine
packed in, I could replace it with little stress as a result of getting in control of my money, by
budgeting.

This isn’t for everyone, however, if you want to give your finances a makeover, here are a
few tips:

1. Work out how much money you have coming in (monthly).
2. Prioritise what you need/want to spend your money on that month (be honest with
yourself).
3. Allocate EVERY penny to different things on paper. E.G food, transport, bills, rent,
etc.
4. Try to have a ‘rainy day fund’ for those times when things break and need replacing,
for example, the boiler.
5. If you overspend, don’t stress about it, just cut back and maybe re-think it next
month.
6. Be realistic.

7. Take control of the money that you have and enjoy deciding what to do with it!

There are many of us out there that live from one payday to the next. We get stressed by
money and worry if we can afford to pay our bills. Getting your money in order requires
one small positive choice after another. So, start today.

If you are struggling with Debt, there are some fantastic services out there to help and
support you. Below are contact details for two organisations that we would highly
recommend.

CAP (Christians against poverty):

https://capuk.org/i-want-help/our-services/cap-debt-help/debt-centre/212/liverpool-bootle

Citizens Advice Bureau:

http://www.seftoncab.org.uk/