Salford, Greater Manchester -- (SBWIRE) -- 02/08/2012 -- As February begins, budgeting bank account provider thinkbanking recommends that people look back at how their finances have fared in the first month of 2012, so they can plan for the next eleven more effectively.
"For many people, a New Year starts with a financial 'hangover' from the festive period, in the form of higher overdrafts and credit card balances," a spokesperson commented.
"Tackling that kind of problem and rebalancing the books is an essential first step for anyone who's keen to set themselves financial goals for the year.
"So, as February gets underway, have you managed to do that? If you're having to make some difficult financial decisions, don't be tempted to clear your debts by using the money you need for your everyday bills. Overpaying your debts is a good way to clear them more quickly and save money on interest, but it's not worth it if it means falling behind on your other financial commitments. It's better to figure out how much extra you can actually afford to put towards your debts every month - and do your best to stick to that.
"If your finances look healthy enough and you don't have any debts to contend with, it looks like you're on track for 2012. The question is: what can you do to improve your situation further and safeguard against any problems you might run into later on? One of the best ways to do that, of course, is to put money aside for the future."
Either way - whether you're aiming to pay off debts or build up your savings - it's easier to plan out your finances if you can make them as predictable as possible.
Some of the financial challenges which put a strain on a household's budget can't be foreseen in advance, but many of them can. A lot of expenses, from renewing the car insurance to going on holiday, happen at the same time every year - so planning ahead and putting some money aside beforehand can help a household take those costs in their stride.
"At thinkbanking, we pride ourselves on helping our customers plan ahead. Rather than providing an overdraft facility, we have money managers who help customers set (and keep to) budgets, and warn them when it looks like they'll struggle to pay their bills. Rather than imposing unpredictable bank charges for bounced payments (or making 'too many' transactions), we charge a single fee per month for the entire package, from the money managers service to internet banking and SMS alerts.
"Forewarned is forearmed, as they say. Achieving your financial goals for the year can be so much easier if you break them down and see how much you need to accomplish each month. The more predictable you can make your finances, the simpler it should be to set yourself monthly targets - and stick to them."
Notes to Editors
thinkbanking provides access to a current bank account that makes it easier to budget, by ring-fencing money needed for regular commitments, including savings. The 'Money Manager' service helps customers to manage their accounts effectively. The account comes with predictive banking which can let customers know if they are running short for their necessary expenses. thinkbanking accounts don't require a credit check and are available to UK residents over the age of 18 who can prove their identity.
For more information, visit the thinkbanking website atwww.thinkbanking.co.uk.
Tel: 0845 056 6005