Finances and extra costs
If this is your first visit, check out the community guide. You will have to Join us or Sign in before you can post.

Budgeting tips

ydnaydna Member Posts: 6 Listener
edited April 28 in Finances and extra costs
Since I seem to be only one struggling on amounts from benefits can you guys share your budgeting tips with me? How do you get your bills low enough? What stuff do you go without? 
How much do you budget for food?


  • woodbinewoodbine Community Co-Production Group Posts: 3,785 Disability Gamechanger
    Hi that's a big question, one tip I have for you as a one off experiment for 4 weeks write down everything you buy and for how much and I mean everything, then at the end of the month you can see where the money is going and take action as to where savings can be made. Other than that a few more ideas.

    Are you on the best tariff for your gas and electricity?
    Are you paying to much for your mobile ?
    When you shop for food shop with a list and with your eyes, at eye level are the big expensive brands, below them are the stores own brand (often as good) and on the bottom shelf the low cost brands.

    It really is a topic that you can easily write a book about.
    my advice is given freely and is correct to the best of my knowledge.
  • Tori_ScopeTori_Scope Posts: 4,033

    Scope community team

    Hi @ydna :) Just to let you know, I've moved your post into our finances category.

    Do you switch your bills regularly to ensure you're getting the best deal you can? Have you used comparison sites to help you with this?

    Do you keep track of your spending? I find this helps me to ensure that I'm not overspending on something without realising it. 
    Online Community Coordinator, she/her

    Want to give us feedback? Complete our feedback form now.
  • erin2490erin2490 Member Posts: 25 Listener
    I phoned up my water company when I was really skint and I kept getting bills and they froze my payments for 3 months. Also make sure you keep in touch with  any companies your struggling to pay as other places may offer help like that. I got a little help with my electric aswell these thing aren't really budgeting ideas but if your finding yourself racking up bills, you simply cannot afford right now. It can be useful to know as I found the idea on a website, I'd been looking at and was so glad I phoned the places up. It took the extra pressure off me for a few months.
  • Ross_ScopeRoss_Scope Posts: 3,224

    Scope community team

    I normally try to make sure I'm on the best deal for my bills. Energy, broadband, phone and so on. It's a good idea to use comparison sites and do some research into the cheapest and best value providers.
    Online Community Coordinator

    Find out more about, and apply for, the Community Co-production Group.

    Want to tell us about your experience on the community? Talk to our chatbot and let us know.
  • wilkowilko Member Posts: 2,293 Disability Gamechanger
    Hello making a budget is very helpful in knowing what your income and out goings are month on month. After making your list of income start taking off your rent, utilities, phone costs, WiFi, housing keeping, car running costs if on enhanced mobility fuel, charity giving, and all those little things you spend but don't notice but they do eat into the budget. Hair cuts, the coffee and cake out, lottery tickets ect smoking and drinking. Treats like chocolate sweets. Money given to grand children and so on, seeing it written down can be eye opening and you then see where cuts may be needed or how frugal you are with your spending..
  • woodbinewoodbine Community Co-Production Group Posts: 3,785 Disability Gamechanger
    Checking your bank statement to see what direct debits/standing orders you have is also a good idea, sometimes you'll find yourself paying for something you no longer use.
    my advice is given freely and is correct to the best of my knowledge.
  • katiehallkatiehall Member Posts: 1 Listener
    edited May 7
    You can check if you are eligible for a grant to upgrade your heating or to install insulation at or see the posts here about the Npower scheme for keeping energy bills down

  • mcake66mcake66 Member Posts: 1 Listener
    Hi, as what most people have already stated check what you are spending on. Things I have done are when any bills are due such as Virginia media I call and ask for loyalty discount they don't tell you this, you can say you are leaving then they offer a better deal to stay! Some energy providers offer a warm home discount amount £140 per year you have to apply for it about October. With breakdown and car insurers I always shop about for best deal and haggle over the phone to get a cheaper price. Do you have access to any local charity for free or cheap food? My local church offer this service as they contact shops for short dated food or just any offerings. They sell at a huge discount for example 10 items for £2.50. Lidls sometimes do £1.50 fruit and veg boxes end of checkout for not at best quality but I have found they are amazing and perfectly fine to eat. Hope all this helps 😃
  • griff11griff11 Member Posts: 66 Courageous
    The first thing to do is check you are getting all the benefits you are entitled to. If you are in a union then they can help of if you are having support from organisations like MacMillan, Citizens advice etc.
    Basic in & out of money will flag up issues . If you pay for tv/broadband just ring and say you can't afford your package anymore and see what they offer but be prepared to go to cheaper provider if necessary. Same with mobile.  EE wouldn't budge on price despite me saying I couldn't afford their price.  I said I'd move , he said I'd lose my number .  I told him that was a lie etc .  I took out much cheaper deal through third party.  Had a call to ask why I was leaving but I'd given them a chance to match so I was off!  I change my energy suppliers -I check via  I Chang my insurances annually too if they won't match lowest price! If you are struggling with your mortgage see if refinancing can save you money .  
  • FourpenceFourpence Member Posts: 11 Listener
    I think it's with any income you have to budget.I wine my better off friends up by telling them everyone has a different level of skint, they think they are skint only have few thousand in bank, me I'm lucky to have a few pounds. But they always tell me how nice a meal or our furniture is lovely and don't believe how cheap it is.
    Family budgets can be a nightmare and I agree with others, check how much you pay for gas etc. 
    When my children were small and even though we worked it was a struggle. I used to write a week's menu before shopping as that saves. Also make your own treats. I used to get a chicken have roast Sunday, cold with chips Monday and make soup for Wednesday, there was 5 of us. It can work, it just being very careful. I think schools should teach basic budgeting as it's something we all have to do.
    Good luck and if u need any cheap and tasty recipes just ask
  • Ross_ScopeRoss_Scope Posts: 3,224

    Scope community team

    Thank you for your contributions @griff11, @mcake66 and @katiehall! And welcome to the community to the latter two of you, I see that was your first post :) 
    Online Community Coordinator

    Find out more about, and apply for, the Community Co-production Group.

    Want to tell us about your experience on the community? Talk to our chatbot and let us know.
Sign in or join us to comment.