Getting Social Welfare Every Two Weeks? - Tips on How to Manage

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by Carol, Dublin South MABS

Some people are getting paid their social welfare payments every two weeks as a result of COVID-19 (coronavirus) supports measures introduced by the Government. Are you one of these people?

Continue reading for tips on how to manage so that your money stretches.

Others find this difficult, especially as everyone is stuck at home right now. We tend to eat and snack more often. This means that food gets eaten quicker, especially where there are young children and growing teenagers eating you out of house and home.

More electricity and gas/fuel gets used so it's important to pay what you can afford towards bills. This avoids a build-up of big bills in the future. Here are six tips to help.

  1. Think about separating your Social Welfare payment into week one and week two. Put week two somewhere safe, ideally in a bank or credit union account. This reduces the temptation to dip in. For the current week, divide the money into separate envelopes or jars identified with the expected outgoings for that week. For example, gas, electricity, a weekend treat, or weekly food shop.

  2. "What's for dinner? What's for dinner?" is a typical mantra in houses across the country. Think about planning out a menu for the week. Doing this will give you a better idea of what you have available to spend and what you need to buy.

  3. Make a shopping list before going shopping and stick to it. Don't be tempted by multibuys unless:
    1. You know that you will able to use all the products and represent good value as a result
    2. they have a long shelf life or can be frozen.

    Don't forget to include a little treat.

  4. Plan out your shopping trip and do a big shop once a week. Regular visits to the shops for the 'odd' thing might feel like a saving but could add up to be more expensive. It also means that the time you put into making a menu for the week could be undone, resulting in waste and money going in the bin.

  5. Get others involved if you can, learn new cooking skills, budgeting and stretch your money longer. Cooking from scratch can be great fun if you get the kids involved and can mean big savings! It is also a great life skill to learn from an early age.

  6. Think about using leftovers. Eggs are brilliant for putting a lunch together with what's left in the vegetable box in the fridge. Freezing any leftover dinners can be great for another time when someone is feeling peckish, or you just want a night off!

  7. Always leave room each week for PIZZA NIGHT or whatever your favourite go-to is.

Some of these tips may seem obvious and can also seem like a lot of hard work.

You'll get a great sense of achievement when you start to see positive results. Planning and budgeting will become easier. You'll learn good habits and reduce stress once you know that you're taking control of your money.

Help is available. If you would like help with budgeting or some tips on spending Money Advisers from MABS are available by phone on our National Helpline on 0761 07 2000 from 9am to 8pm Monday to Friday or you can email helpline@mabs.ie, or use our live chat to answer any personal money and debt questions you might have. We might not be able to meet face-to-face now, but rest assured we have your back.

National Traveller MABS in collaboration with South Munster MABS, South Connacht MABS and Dublin South MABS have pulled together this very handy one page flyer on four steps to making a spending plan. Click on the image to access a high resolution version to print or save on your device.

Two Week Spending Plan Leaflet from National Traveller MABS