Money Matters

Government ‘breathing space’ scheme comment

Salman Haqqi, personal finance expert at money.co.uk, said: “The government’s new ‘breathing space’ scheme, should be a real lifeline to those struggling with persistent debt. 

“The main benefits of the scheme are the 60 day interest freeze and halting action from creditors, giving individuals additional time to get the help and support they need. 

“With the scheme set to be introduced in 2021, if you are currently feeling pressure on your finances you can take a few small steps to help manage your money.

Money in a jar
Photo by Josh Appel on Unsplash

“Most importantly you must make a budget, and stick to it. Check your bank account daily, the interest rates you’re paying once a month and if you’re not locked in to a deal or contract shop around for cheaper options.

“Cut the cost of interest on debts by doing a balance transfer or use savings to pay off as much of your balance as you can. Switch from standard energy tariffs to cheaper fixed rates and always compare insurance policies before committing to renewing.  Set reminders in your diary for all the services you use to prompt yourself to shop around.”

Tips for writing up your budget

Before you write your budget, use these tips to make sure you have everything you need:

  • Work out when bills go out: If most of your expenses go out monthly, calculate your income and expenditure as monthly figures
  • Be as accurate as possible: If you have to estimate, it is better to overestimate your figures rather than underestimate them
  • Take your time: To make your budget as accurate as possible you need to set aside time to write it so you can give it your full attention
  • Think about who the budget is for: For example, if it is for you and your partner, make sure you draw it up together and include both of your incomings and outgoings
  • Get all your paperwork: You will need all the documents that show your income and expenses, for example bank and credit card statements, utility bills and receipts.