Maybe 2020 has been hard-hitting on your finances. You might have been tipped into difficulty by the pandemic, or perhaps you were struggling to make ends meet before lockdown. At Christians Against Poverty (CAP), we’re all about empowering people to take back control of their finances. That’s why we’d love to share with you just a few simple adjustments you can make to help manage your money well in 2021.
1. Focus on what’s important
What many of us missed the most in 2020 was time with our loved ones. Thankfully, we found creative ways to connect, hosting video calls, Zoom quizzes and even ‘virtual church’. We realised that the things that matter most are actually not things at all, but people. Why not take that with you into 2021?
2. Create a budget
Create a realistic budget — and stick to it. Have a think about what you could go without (cut out), buy less often (cut back) or buy cheaper (cut costs) this year. Little adjustments like switching to a cheaper brand or limiting how much you spend on clothes could make your money go further. Those pennies will soon add up, and could form a protective buffer for any unexpected costs. If you need to cut back on things like gifts this year, don’t feel bad. Remember, nobody wants you to go into debt for them! You’ll also feel better knowing you’re not spending money you don’t have. You’re not a bad friend or parent for sticking to cards instead of presents. You’re future-proofing your family’s finances for whatever comes your way in 2021 and beyond.
3. Reach out
If you’re struggling financially, please don’t suffer alone. Be honest with those close to you, and reach out for professional help and advice.
There are a number of organisations who are perfectly placed to help you, including Christians Against Poverty (CAP). We offer free debt help to anyone who needs us regardless of background, age, gender, race or sexual orientation. We’ll support you every step of the way, no matter how complex your situation is. Call us today on 0800 328 0006, or enter your postcode at www.capuk.org to find a service near you.
4. Get involved
If you’re able, why not support someone else in need? Could you do a neighbour’s shopping, or send a card to a friend? Why not support your local foodbank or make a monthly donation to a charity? Even something small could make a huge difference to someone who needs to know that there is hope. 2020 proved to us that it’s people that matter, so let’s stand together and make sure nobody falls through the cracks.