How can I get my spending habits back on track this year?

Date published: 07 February 2022

Citizens Advice is a local charity that provides free, independent, impartial advice to Oldham residents.  Each month we share advice around a key issue that we’re seeing across Oldham.  

I keep seeing on the news that my bills could be going up again soon- my energy bill has already increased a lot. It’s making me worried, especially as I spent more on Christmas than I should have done. How can I get my spending habits back on track this year?

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 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 to help you do this.

If any of your bills go up in the coming year, you can go back to our budgeting tool anytime to create a new plan and stay in control. Our website tips on how to reduce your regular living costs may be helpful if you find you have more money going out than coming in at any point.

You should also make sure you’re getting all the income you’re entitled to. Use the Income checker on the Citizens Advice website to see if you could be getting more support, such as benefits or government grants. You can also use this to make sure you’re being paid the right wage.

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. On the Citizens Advice website, 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 need more specific support or don’t feel able to manage your situation alone, call our team on 0808 278 7803 or visit our website to access our web chat, face to face service and out of hours service.

You’re not on your own.

Do you have a story for us? Want to tell us about something going on in and around Oldham? Let us know by emailing , calling our Oldham-based newsroom on 0161 633 2121 , tweeting us @oldhamchronicle or messaging us through our Facebook page. All contact will be treated in confidence.