Steps to help manage your money
Complete a budget planner
Using a budget planner, is an easy way to manage your finances, work out an achievable budget and identify where savings can be made. You should:
- List everything that's coming in and out of your account each month. Your bank statements should help with this.
- Highlight the essential outgoings such as your mortgage, council tax, utilities, travel expenses, childcare etc. These costs are likely to be a set amount each month.
- Identify variable outgoings such as groceries, clothes and everyday expenses such as coffee and lunch. These outgoings will change on a month-to-month basis and they are the ones that you can reduce which can have the biggest impact on balancing your budget.
Once you've created a budget planner, these are things you can do to organise and take control of your finances:
- Wherever possible, pay your bills by Direct Debit or standing order 1 or 2 days after you get paid, so that you know you'll have enough in your account and can clearly see what's left over.
- If your bank has an online banking service, use it regularly to keep track of your spending.
- Regularly review your variable outgoings and save money by cutting back on non-essential items, cancelling that unused gym membership or switching to cheaper options.
- If you have any money left over at the end of the month, you should consider saving it: even small, regular savings can make a difference over time, creating a pot of money you can break into for unforeseen emergencies or even periods when you know your spending will increase, such as Christmas.
Understand your debt
It's a good idea to tackle debt problems quickly before things get worse. If you haven't done so already, set up a budget planner to get your monthly outgoings under control and then consider the following to help sort out your existing debts.
- Make a list of all your debts. The ones with the highest interest rates should be at the top. You'll be able to find what your interest rates are on your latest credit card statement and loan agreement forms.
- Consider moving any debts with higher interest rates to lower rates. A couple of options are to explore a balance transfer credit card or consolidate your debt with a personal loan. Find out more on what a balance transfer is and how debt consolidation works.
- Contact your creditors to let them know you're struggling to make your payments, they may be able to find a solution with you. If you're worried that you can't make your M&S Bank contractual monthly payments, or have already fallen behind on payments, we're here to help.
- Get free debt advice to help work out the way forward. See our list of charities you can contact to discuss the best way to get yourself out of debt quickly.
Set up mobile app
We know that life can be a little hectic at times, so anything that helps you keep track of your spending and better manage your money can be extremely useful.
The M&S Banking App is the perfect way to help you stay in control of your account – it’s easy to use, secure and always to hand with lots of helpful features.
Here’s just some of the things you can do with our app to help you stay in control of your account:
Make payments – be reminded of upcoming payments and pay your M&S Credit Card using a debit card while you're on the go.
Spend notifications - be notified when you spend using your M&S Credit Card, so you can stay on top of things.
Mobile statements – view and download digital versions of credit card statements.
Chat with us - use our secure 'Chat with us' feature to get in touch with account specific queries, at a time convenient to you.