If both adults in the house handle the finances, it gets difficult to deal with. You don’t know what your partner has planned. Take control of all the finances in the house (or let your partner if he’s better with money!).
Have access to all the bank accounts and know where the money goes each month. If you can, have access to all the accounts where money needs to be paid.
Determine the amount you have coming in and the amount that has to be paid each month. This will be on your mortgage/rent, your utility bills, your debts and any other payments that you regularly make each month.
Go through previous bank statements for the last year or two to make sure you cover all the regular payments. This lets you know the amount that you have left over to spend/save.
Make sure some of your left over money goes into a savings account. You need to have an emergency fund at least to cover any possibilities that happen around the house.
If you have a lot of debt, consider wiping this out with a larger instalment from the amount that you have left after all the outgoings.
When you decide the amount that you are going to save, make sure this remains as a fixed outgoing. This will stop you being tempted to not save in favour of spending your money on other items.
It also encourages you to save regularly for the luxury items that you want.
Now go through all your outgoings and check the payment dates. You don’t need to pay early – although some companies offer discounts for early payment – but you will need to avoid paying late.
Not only does this harm your credit rating but the late payments can cause the bill to increase if a late payment charge is issued.
Set yourself and each member of the household a personal budget – this could be each month or week. This is the amount that each person is allowed to spend on whatever they want.
There will be no questions asked (although you should teach children about the value of money) about the items that are bought with that money. This allows you to spend on luxury items or just enjoy trips out with the family.
For those who are really bad with money, set up two accounts – and two accounts only! Have the first account for your income and monthly outgoings (including savings!) and the second account for your ‘fun’ stuff.
Place a set amount each month from the first account into the second account and don’t touch the first one after that!