If you’re dealing with debt (or just lack savings) then you need to get real about the fact that change will only happen if you take action.  With that in mind, here are ten, monthly challenges you can use to help pay down your debt and/or build up your savings, starting from now.  We’ve suggested a month for each challenge but you can do any one at any time and for maximum results, you can even do more than one challenge in any given month.

March – Cut out convenience lunches

In other words, make your own lunch and take it into work.  Do not buy store-made sandwiches or ready meals to pop in the kitchen microwave.  Do not just go down to a cafe unless it’s a special occasion.

April – Become a barista

You can learn to make coffee just as well as a barista. There are plenty of online resources to help you.  You probably don’t need to be told how much money you can save by making your own coffee, so commit to learning the tricks of the trade so that trips to a coffee shop become occasional treats rather than a daily habit.

May – Create sinking funds and commit to filling them

Now that you’ve started to trim back on your spending, it’s time to start pushing the savings.  Sinking funds are basically funds you set up for a specific purpose, like replacing household items when they wear out or making sure you have money for the excess on your insurance, or just paying for Christmas.

June – Cut £10 per week from your supermarket shop

Put it into your sinking funds.

July – Ditch the brands

Sometimes you really are paying for quality but a lot of the time there is actually little to no real-world difference between the premium brands and the budget ones.

August – Save £1 per day

We hate to say it, but if you’re on a tight budget then you really need to start preparing for Christmas as early as you possibly can. There are 31 days in August and while saving £31 might not sound like very much, it’s a lot better than nothing and could enable you to start your Christmas shopping early and perhaps bag some bargains.

September – Sell at least one item a week

Clear out your clutter and make some cash for Christmas.

October – Decrease your bills

Go through all your regular bills and decide which expenses you can ditch completely and which are actually necessary.  For the latter see if there are any steps you can take to reduce them now and if not, e.g. you are locked into a contract, put a note in your calendar to look at them when your contract is coming to an end.

November – Have a weekly no-spend day

There’s nothing like planning ahead to save you money and there’s nothing like knowing that you can’t spend money to make you plan ahead.

December – Buy preloved only

At least look at pre-loved gifts before you decide whether or not you need to fork out for brand-new ones.

We hope that at least some of these tips will help to improve your financial wellbeing.  If you do need help, please contact us.

Blackpool: 01253 299 399 | Carlisle: 01228 558 899