Reducing your outgoings
It’s important to know where you spend money. Keep a spending diary for a week or so – you could be surprised by what you see! Once done, you can now look at how you might cut your spending.
With your budget in front of you, try doing the following:
- Put a mark against payments that cannot be changed (such as your motor tax)
- Look at bills or payments that could be reduced (such as electricity, gas, and telephone). Visit the Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland (www.seai.ie) for advice on how to reduce your usage
- You may be able to negotiate lower payments for some big items such as childcare or your rent or shop around for cheaper insurance
- Now consider how you might budget for essential weekly spending on groceries, housekeeping, clothing etc. You might find it useful to keep a daily spending diary for a short while, as it will give you a clear idea of where your money is going and where you might be able to reduce your spending
- Look at other items, such as entertainment. Although you might again decide to make cutbacks here, do try and leave room for a social life for you and your family
- Decide how much you need to put aside for dealing with unexpected/emergency expenses, (for example, education costs and repairs on your home)
- You may be able to negotiate lower mortgage repayments with your lender but you should understand your rights and the consequences and costs involved before you agree to any change.