Planning your finances

Good money management can mean many things - from living within your means to saving for short and long-term goals, to having a realistic plan to pay off your debts.

yourmoney provides you with the tools and resources you need when planning your finances.

Why not start with the money healthcheck to give you an idea of how your finances currently stack up?

Budgets

Getting on top of your finances can be daunting, but doing a budget is a great way to start. By recording all the money you have coming in (from things like your salary or wages, pensions or benefits) and payments that you make (such as your rent or mortgage, insurance and Council Tax as well as living expenses and regular and irregular spending) you will get a better picture of your finances.

If you're spending more than you earn on a regular basis then the next step is to look more closely at what you're spending money on and what you can cut back. Even small amounts - for things such as magazines, sandwiches at lunchtime or takeaways - can add up.

If you have loans or owe money on credit cards it usually makes sense to pay off the debt that charges the highest rate of interest first - it's the fastest way to clear your debts.

Savings

You may find it hard to get motivated about saving, but it's often much easier if you set a goal. That way, rather than thinking about the money you are setting aside each month, you can focus on what you will be able to do once you've reached your goal.

Your first step is to have some emergency savings - money to fall back on if you have an emergency, such as a heating boiler breakdown or if you couldn't work for a while.

For more information visit the saving and investing section »

Getting started

You can find a wealth of information and tools in the money guidance section to help you make planning your finances easier.

You may feel that you need to speak to a professional about your personal finances. You can find an adviser local to you using our online search tool »

We have the largest database in the UK of professional financial advisers who are all members of the Personal Finance Society, which means that they have committed to higher standards of professionalism and code of professional ethics. Find out more about financial advice »

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