1 in 2 prioritise budgeting. Do you?
Christmas may be a fading memory, but the festive bills landing on our doormats could be a problem that takes months or even years to deal with.
Throughout December, personal debt in the UK rose by over £600 million, leaving us indebted to the tune of £157 billion - and that's just on unsecured debts like credit cards, personal loans and overdrafts.
Figures like these from the Bank of England could help to explain why so many of us started 2013 determined to take a stand and start managing our finances more effectively.
It's the number-one goal for 2013
As 2012 drew to a close, over half the people in the East of England saw budgeting as a priority. That's one of the findings of a survey by thinkmoney, who provide an alternative to a basic bank account.
After more than 2,000 interviews across the UK in mid-December, the company found that 'stick to a budget' was the single most popular aim in the New Year, outranking shopping around for cheaper utility packages, paying off non-mortgage debt - even losing weight!
The East of England was no exception.
• 51% of interviewees in the East said they were planning to stick to a budget in 2013
• 36% said they'd shop around for cheaper tariffs on things like gas, electricity and mobile phones
• 30% said they'd prioritise paying off non-mortgage debt
• 30% said losing weight or dieting was one of their New Year's resolutions
• On average, they expected to stick to their New Year's resolutions for just under five months.
Do you budget?
At a time of rising costs, squeezed incomes and all-round 'austerity', it's more important than ever to budget carefully, making every penny count.
It'll help you spot areas where you're over-spending. It'll help you plan ahead and figure out whether you can afford to take on any new expenses. It might even reveal you're paying for things you don't even use any more.
And it'll help you save for the future, whether you're building up a rainy-day fund or saving up for something specific - like next Christmas! January might have passed us by already, but that still leaves 11 months before the next festive season rolls around.
So however much you think it's reasonable to spend on Christmas, just divide it by 11. If you can set that amount aside every month, you should be set for a festive season that you can enjoy - and that you won't still be paying for this time next year.
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Weather for Bedford
Wednesday 19 June 2013
Temperature: 14 C to 24 C
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