Hi Martin! I'm Jenny, I'm 28 years old, single, I live in a rented flat share in London.
I'm an insurance clerk, it's interesting... but it's an entry level job, so I guess you can say my income is lower than average. I have lots of friends, so I do admit, I do spend a lot of money on going out.
I tend to think of myself as well organised. I always try to pay my bills on time, but it's hard to make ends meet. It's like my expenses are always increasing but I don't have the income to go with them. And I never manage to put money aside for a rainy day. I'm a bit stressed about that.
I'd love to own my own home. I also want to be able to afford to go and see my brother who lives in Australia. At 28, I'm desperate for my aspirations to become realities. I want to take tighter control of my finances and plan for the future.
Any advice, Martin?
Hi Jenny, well it sounds like you need to get to grips with your budget.
First assess your situation. Draw up a detailed break down of your income and spending each month. And remember to adjust monthly cash flows to take into account how some spending occurs just once or a few months each year. For example holiday spending or car insurance. Budget cautiously. Allow ample sums for unanticipated expenditure like car repairs, avoid optimistic estimates of what pay rises you may get. If you do this, it's more likely that the eventual financial outcome for you will be a pleasant surprise. With unanticipated expenditure lower than forecast, and pay rises higher than budgeted for. Better this than a nasty surprise if it's the other way round.
When you've got these details in front of you, you're in a position to decide on what to do with your spending, where to cut it and where perhaps to increase it. More importantly you can start to plan for the future and your medium to long term goals in life, when you have the present day under control.