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Just About Managing: Are you a Jam?

Published 11 February 2017 by

The Government has been pledging to help out Jams recently. But they’re not talking about cooking – Jams are those who are ‘just about managing’.

If you find that you get to the end of the month and your wages only just cover all of your bills, you’re a Jam. But is this a bad thing and do you need to worry about it? And if you’re struggling to cope with your budget, is there anything you can do to make this easier? Let’s take a look at how a ‘just about managing’ budget could affect you.

Breaking even

Being able to afford all of your bills every month is always a good thing. It means you won’t have any services cut off, you won’t miss out on food and – if you’re repaying credit – you won’t end up with any missed payment charges.

But living on a tight budget can bring problems if even one of your bills increases. If you’ve got no disposable income and your broadband bills went up, for example, you’d struggle to afford this. You’d have to take a look at your household budget and look for any areas where you could cut back to you could cover the higher bill.

If you had an unexpected bill

And when you’re on a tight budget, this also means you’d struggle to cope with any unexpected bills. For example, if your washing machine broke, you’d probably have to buy a new one. If you didn’t have the money to cover this, you might have to borrow money or cut back from another of your bills.

A rainy day fund could help

This is why it could be difficult to get by for more than a few months if you’re just about managing. Try to look at your budget and see where you can cut back so you can free up some disposable income. There’s no right or wrong amount of disposable income you should have – anything you can set aside will help with an unexpected bill.

If you’re struggling to find areas where you can cut back, you might need to think outside the box. Do you really go to the gym enough to justify the membership fee, or could you cancel and go for a run instead? And could you stop buying your lunch at work by bringing a sandwich with you? If you’ve managed to free up some cash each month, it’s worth starting a rainy day fund.

The thinkmoney Personal Account could be one way you could stay in control of your money if you’re just about managing. It ringfences the money you need for your important bills so you can’t accidentally spend it on anything else. The rest goes onto your card so you know you’re free to spend this without worrying you’re using money you shouldn’t. And because the account takes care of your bills for you, you won’t need to worry about late payment fees or charges.

The thinkmoney Personal Account has a monthly management fee of £17.50 a month – read more about how it works here.

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