Credit: How to keep a track of your spending

Many of us need to borrow in order to get by; it’s a fact of life for many Britons in 2017. Indeed, unsecured debt is set to rise to an average of £13,900 per household this year and top £15,000 by 2020. But, while many people need credit to afford the big purchases in their lives it’s important to be on your guard to avoid this becoming a serious issue.

To stay in control of your credit you need to be able to keep a track of your spending. Here’s how…

Know your regular outgoings

The first step is to draw up a budget plan. You need to know how much money you have coming in and how much of that is already accounted for. Go back through your last three of four bank statements (you need a few so that you don’t miss any quarterly payments) and work out what your regular monthly spending is on your bills etc. The difference between this and your income shows you how much you have left to spend and/or what you could afford in monthly payments for credit, for example.

Make a note of key deadlines

It’s not just about how you manage your money, it’s also about when you make your payments too. If you’re not careful, especially with things like credit cards, you could end up paying out lots of money in fees and charges if you don’t make payments in time. It’s important to understand what fees and charges are associated with the use of your cards and make notes of key payment deadlines so that you don’t miss them. Again, your mobile banking app should help you to be able to make these payments, whenever is convenient for you.

By understanding your budget, tracking your spending, getting access to your accounts whenever you need it and sticking to key deadlines you should be able to keep a track of your spending. This will help you to avoid over-spending and should ensure you are confident when it comes to managing your money while you have credit – both before you take it out and while you’re paying the money you owe back.

Track your spending

Once you know what you have to spend, you need to make sure you stick within this limit. Keep all of your receipts so that you can see exactly what you’ve spent and where. You might even find that it helps to keep a spending diary. This is easier than ever now with apps that can help you to log every last penny you spend. This guide from the Guardian offers some good apps to try.

Use mobile banking

Speaking of which, it also pays to use an app to check your current account on the go. You can use these to see your balance, see if payments have come out of your account and weigh up whether you can really afford something before taking the plunge. Mobile banking apps also allow you to transfer money, meaning that you can easily pay people you owe or ensure that your credit card balance is paid, for example.









About the Author

Financial professional and online entrepreneur, I'm best known as The Financial Blogger. I want to make money because I like enjoying life the way it should be; with a lot of great food and wine! I also love to spend time with my lovely wife and 3 kids!