As soon as Christmas is out the way it’s time to start working on the resolutions for the year ahead. As money is one of the most common causes of stress it’s a good idea to make money management one of your main priorities. If you’re fed up of running out of cash a few days after your wage packet comes in here are some tips for better money management that you may find to be of use.

Starting from Scratch

Begin by creating a complete budget. The reason why a budget is a great idea is so you’re able to identify all of your incomings and outgoings. It’s an essential first step and is the only place to start. There are a number of free online budget planners you can download and use but a simple spreadsheet will do. If you’re not a fan of working online there is nothing wrong with grabbing a pen and paper and doing it in an old-fashioned way. Just ensure you add all the details and don’t miss anything out.

Identify Areas Where You’re Able to Cut Back

If you spend more than you bring in you need to find areas where you can stop spending. If you don’t cut back on anything there will never be any way of pulling yourself out of the red unless you win the lottery. While that’s a great dream you can’t rely on it to be truthful and decide what you can do without.

To do this you’ll need to break down your spending and remember to add all those purchases that aren’t planned. The chocolate bars, cups of coffee, newspapers, and magazines all need to be included, as well as school trips, dinner money, and clothing. All the non-essentials should be evaluated and that is where you’re able to cut back without missing payments on bills.

Paying Off Your Debt

Credit cards and loans all put a strain on your finances and can eat up a lot of the income. Therefore it is important to work through each debt, work out which one charges the highest rates and pay them off with the highest first, working down to the lowest.

If you cannot pay something to all of your debtors you must not ignore the problem. Contact each creditor and ask to have the interest frozen and try to arrange some sort of small payment each month, even if you can only afford a few pounds a month it will be better than nothing. For more extensive debt issues contact the CAB or debt helpline for further advice.

Protection for You and the Future

While managing your money it’s worth looking into the ways you’re saving for your retirement along with your life insurance. It’s important to plan and arrange these essentials even if you’re struggling. There is plenty of help and advice available to help you understand and organize these essential expenses that will benefit you in the future.

By taking control of your finances you’ll feel a lot more in control. The effort you put in will be worth it and in the years to come, you’ll find yourself free from debt with more money available each month.