Five steps to managing your finances more effectively

CILEx Benevolent Fund: five steps to managing your finances more effectively in 2018

14 March 2018 

Budget 2018 list written on a notepadBudgeting is unlikely to top anyone’s list of favourite things to do, but it can make the difference between racking up thousands of pounds of debt (with all the accompanying stress) and leading the life you want without money worries. At its simplest, effective budgeting means that you have a clear idea of your financial incomings and outgoings, planning what you spend subsequently accordingly.

So, just what is the best way to achieve this? Simon Wells, a lay trustee and the chairperson of CILEx Benevolent Fund, explains: "You have got to have a real desire to draw up a budget in the first place, and then the determination to stick to it.

"By following these five steps for budgeting, you will maximise your chances of managing your finances more effectively, and ultimately keep debt under control."

1 Scrutinise what you spent in 2017 To understand whether you are living beyond your means, assess objectively what you spent in the past 12 months. This needs to include bank statements, payslips, debt repayments, regular and one-off bills, family and leisure expenses, travel and motoring expenses, as well as savings and investments. Once in possession of this information, it is then possible to understand whether your financial outgoings routinely exceed the money you have coming in.

2 Anticipate what you will need to spend in 2018 Quite apart from everyday expenses, what are the other costs you will face this year? From paying for your summer holiday to funding a new car - ensure that your budget takes these into account.

3 Make appropriate financial adjustments
Once you have examined your financial expenses and goals, it is necessary to assess whether you are living beyond your means. Be honest with yourself throughout this whole process.

4 Ensure that you stick to your budget
Having drawn up a budget which manages your finances more effectively, ensure that you adhere to it rigorously. Keep focused on the benefits that managing your finances - and any existing debt - will ultimately bring.

5 Get in touch with CILEx Benevolent Fund at the earliest opportunity
If you find that your spending is getting out of control, please get in touch. The fund exists to provide CILEx members with access to confidential debt management support, including budgeting guidance. All applications are assessed on an individual basis and, on some occasions, the fund offers grants to those experiencing one-off instances of financial hardship.

Simon Wells adds: "The board of CILEx Benevolent Fund is aware that there are many diverse reasons why debt is accrued: from job loss to relationship breakdown, bereavement and much more besides.

"While it is impossible to plan for all of life’s vagaries, you can make plans for a secure financial future based on your current situation.

"Any member needing guidance about effective budgeting should get in touch with CILEx Benevolent Fund at the earliest opportunity."

For further information go to: www.cilex.org.uk/membership/benevolent_fund