Spending and Budgeting

One of the key principles of financial wellbeing is keeping a close eye on your incomings and outgoings, so you can bring the two into better balance. This section covers a few key tips on how to keep track of your finances and budget for what you have available – even in the event of unexpected income reductions.

 

Manage your accounts online

Being able to check your financial accounts – bank accounts, savings and pension pots – is a great way to keep track of what you’re spending and where. And with social distancing now in place, it’s more crucial than ever to be able to manage your finances online or through your provider’s official app(s).

Setting up your accounts for online access is usually quick and easy. You should be able to do this through your provider’s website – just remember to have your account details and personal information handy.

Top tip

Always use your provider’s official website or app to set up and log into your online account. Never trust unsolicited emails asking for your account details – even if they look legitimate.

For more information on spotting scams, visit our savings and investments page.

Coping with redundancy

An unexpected loss of income can be very stressful and make long-term planning difficult. But there are things you can do to help keep control of your financial situation.

See Lloyds Bank’s practical advice on coping financially following redundancy.

Money worries

Lots of people experience money problems at some stage of their lives – from anxiety about bills to falling behind on payments or regularly relying on their overdraft. But things may not be as bad as you fear. Use the links below to get an impartial picture of your financial health, and find out where you can turn to for free advice.

Get an honest picture of your financial health from the Money Advice Service.

Get help managing your finances with free resources from Lloyds Bank.

Get a quick snapshot of your financial health and practical cash management tips with Halifax’s Money Health Check.

Budgeting

Setting up a budget

Taking stock of your spending and identifying areas where you can scale back or economise is good practice at the best of times – and especially if you’ve had an unexpected fall in your usual income.

Our online budgeting tool can help you keep track of what you’ve got coming in and how you spend it. This could help identify areas you could save on in the current climate (e.g. eating out and travelling), and where you might be able to scale back spending.

Find out how to set yourself a budget – and stick to it – with videos and top tips from Lloyds Bank.

Put together a monthly budget that suits you with Lloyds Bank’s online budget calculator.

Prioritise the essentials

Once you’ve got a sense of your spending, it’s worth drawing a line between the essentials, and the little luxuries and nice-to-haves.

You can ensure you’re getting a good deal on essential spending, like utilities and internet services, by checking price comparison sites. Once you know how much you need to spend each month, you should have a better idea of how much you can afford to spend on everything else.

Having a separate bank account or using a prepaid debit card just for the odds and ends could help stop you splurging more than you intend to by putting a hard limit on how much you can spend each month.

Save what you can, when you can

If you’re able to, it’s worth squirreling away any spare cash left at the end of the month to build up an emergency fund. This can help give you more financial security and resilience if you face unexpected costs, bills or dips in income.

Borrowing money

Borrowing money can sometimes be helpful for consolidating debts or making larger purchases – but you should know what you’re getting into and how it could affect your finances over the longer term. We’ll show you how to improve your credit score, understand APR’s and make sense of the numbers – all in plain English.

Read this comprehensive guide on whether you need to borrow money from the Money Advice Service.

Explore Halifax’s articles and videos explaining all the need-to-know info about borrowing.

Read more about managing debts on our ‘Managing Financial Commitments’ page.