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Money hack: learning personal budgeting can save you from financial headaches

If you're on Universal Credit, getting your wages before Christmas might mean you get more money in an assessment period than expected.

Here's our four steps to taking control of your money.


1. Work out how much you have coming in and going out.

It can be daunting doing this, but it will help you get a clear picture of your situation.

Use this easy budget planner from Money Advice Service - see 'related links'.


2 Use this money mantra

Money saving expert Martin Lewis devised this little ditty to stop impulse spending.

If you're skint

  • Do I need it?
  • Can I afford it?
  • Have I checked if it's cheaper anywhere else?

If you're not skint

  • Will I use it?
  • Is it worth it?
  • Have I checked if it's cheaper anywhere else?

If any answer is no.... don't buy it.


3. Work out your spending priorities

List them and then stick to them. They usually include things like:

  • Rent/mortgage
  • Council tax
  • Utility bills
  • Food
  • Clothing

Travel to work or school are essential too. Once you know how much you need for your priorities, any money left over is yours to choose how you spend.


4 Make sure you are getting everything you are entitled to

It's always worth checking your financial health. Get a money check by calling Citizen's Advice Scotland's free Financial Health Check number - 0800 085 7145.


Published: Saturday 10 November 2018