Citizens Advice: Getting your budget back on track

Calculator and notepad

Calculator and notepad - Credit: Citizens Advice North Herts

Citizens Advice North Herts is helping people get their budget back on track after splurging over Christmas.

“I keep seeing on the news that my bills could be going up soon. It’s making me really worried, especially as I spent more on Christmas than I should have done. How can I get my spending habits back on track in 2022?”

A lot of people will be asking themselves this question right now. The good news is there are lots of things you can do to be more in control of your money and feel better prepared for the future.

Firstly, find out exactly what money you have coming in and going out each month. Be realistic about what you need for essentials like food and travel.

Then you can set yourself a budget that you can stick to - take a look at the budgeting tool on the Citizens Advice website (citizensadvice.org.uk) to help you do this. 

Try to be prepared. If any of your bills do go up in the coming year, you can go back to our budgeting tool at any time to create a new plan and stay in control. Our website tips on how to reduce your regular living costs may also be worth reading.

Make sure you’re getting all the income you’re entitled to. Again, this where a visit to our website can help. Use the income checker to see if you could be getting more support, such as benefits or government grants. 

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If you’ve been using credit cards, your overdraft or store cards for your spending, it’s understandable if these debts are causing you worry. It’s important to prioritise paying your rent or mortgage, plus energy bills and council tax first though.

Not paying these has the most serious consequences. We have advice about which bills you need to prioritise and the support available for paying these and other bills. 

Once you have planned how to pay your priority bills, the budgeting tool can help you plan how to repay credit cards, overdraft charges and store cards. 

Everyone’s circumstances are different, particularly when it comes to managing personal finances.

If you can’t access our website, need more specific support or don’t feel able to manage your situation alone, call the Citizens Advice Hertfordshire Advice Line on 0800 144 8848.