January 2024: Bassetlaw District Council Health and Well-being Blog

January 2024: Bassetlaw District Council Health and Well-being Blog

Financial Fresh Start: Your Guide to Budgeting in the New Year

Happy New Year and welcome back to our health and wellbeing blog. Over the next 12 months we have lots of interesting and informative subjects to talk about that may help you to improve your health and wellbeing. To kick off the year, we understand that January can be a concerning time financially, so let's delve into the crucial topic of budgeting.

Dealing with Overspending

If you find yourself eating into your savings or building up debts, it is likely you are overspending. Set aside some time to review your bank statements, bills, and receipts to understand where your money is going. Prioritise your spending; for example, paying your mortgage or rent is more important than non-essential activities like going out for dinner.

Do not forget to include one-off spending in your budget, such as holidays, birthdays or car maintenance.

What to Do If You Are Overspending?

  • Review your broadband, phone, and other bills for better prices using comparison websites. Be cautious of early exit fees.
  • Create a realistic budget, and don’t forget to factor in one-offs such as annual fees and celebrations
  • Seek local support from Citizens Advice Bassetlaw for free, confidential advice on benefits, debt, energy bills, and employment, housing, and consumer issues.

For more assistance, contact them at 01909 498888 or visit https://www.bassetlawca.org.uk/ or email: advice@bassetlawca.org.uk.

Bassetlaw Action Centre has a dedicated Energy Advice Service to support you with checking your tariff, ensuring you receive the right benefits, and providing guidance on debt. Contact them at 01777 709 650 or email jbullock@actioncentre.org.uk.

Council Money Advisors

Bassetlaw District Council also has a team of Money Advisors who can help with debt advice, check if you are entitled to any form of benefits and that you are receiving everything you are entitled to, as well as being able to put you in touch with other agencies that can help. You can visit the Money Advice section of our website for more information.

Struggling to Create Budgets?

Not sure how to use complex formulas in Excel? Vertex42 offers a variety of ready-made Excel templates, including household budgets, Christmas budget plans, grocery prices, mortgage calculations, and more. All spreadsheets can be downloaded free. Find them at Vertex42.

Tips for Savvy Shopping

Let’s start by looking at how to save money while shopping, here are some tips to help you get started:

  • Utilise portable scanners to track your budget in real time and make adjustments as needed.
  • Choose own brand or value products; opt for store-brand alternatives like pasta, rice, beans, and chopped tomatoes. These options are not only budget-friendly but also often offer similar quality and nutritional value.
  • Plan your food shop by categorising items such as fruits, vegetables, proteins, dairy, and grains. You can avoid impulse buys by sticking to your list!

Staying Safe from Scams

As the cost of living rises, the threat of scams targeting vulnerable individuals increases. Stay vigilant and protect yourself from financial exploitation. Remember, your bank will never ask for your pin code or call to confirm your bank details.

For more advice on scams, you can sign up to Nottinghamshire County Council’s Trading Standards Consumer Advice and Scams newsletter. There is also useful information from Neighbourhood Watch.

Useful Resources

  • Entitledto: Helps determine benefits entitlement based on personal circumstances. Fill in the calculator.
  • MoneyHelper: Provides free and impartial financial guidance and tools for managing money and making informed decisions.
  • StepChange: Provides free debt advice and debt management solutions to individuals struggling with financial issues.
  • Cost of Living Booklet: Booklet contains support regarding mental health, money, energy, housing, food, clothing and more. Available in different languages and braille.

Thank you for joining us for our first blog post of 2024. Next time, we will be discussing Time to Talk Day and Bassetlaw District Council's Annual New Year Networking Event.

Last Updated on Monday, June 24, 2024