Feel in control of your money
Keep track of your money online
Online Banking allows you to have day-and-night control of your money so you can see what's come in and what's going out. You can also pay bills and move money between accounts. 1
If you want to keep tabs on your spending, why not register for Online Banking and discover the benefits it brings.
There's also a leaflet How to keep your finances on track 430 KB that you may find useful – you can pick up a copy from a branch too. It tells you what steps to take to manage your money better and provides a budgeting table to help you understand your money problems.
As well as showing you how Barclays may be able to help, it includes information on independent sources that provide free debt advice.
The Money Advice Service is a new independent organisation and it’s here to help everyone understand and manage their money better. They have created a health check, a new online money planner, which will give you a personalised action plan. It takes ten minutes to answer some straightforward questions and will identify the top three things you can do to make the most of your money right now, and to plan for future goals.
Set up a separate bills account
If you're constantly over-stretching your budget, setting up a dedicated account for paying monthly bills could help.
Work out exactly how much you need to pay your regular bills and put this into an account solely for this purpose.
If you don't want to change over existing Direct Debits, you might want to sweep any excess cash into a separate account. This way you can be sure that your essential bills are paid. Any excess can either be saved or spent on extravagances every now and then.
Direct Debits and Standing Orders
These are easy to set up and allow you to manage your money better – and they save you time and are more convenient than paying in cash.
These are worth thinking about because some companies offer discounts on bills paid this way. If you set up a Direct Debit to pay your electricity bill, for example, the electric company will take the money out of your account, so there's no need to withdraw cash and queue up to pay bills.
The company must give you advance notice of the amounts and collection dates. If an error occurs, you are entitled to a full refund. For more information about the Direct Debit Guarantee, visit the British Bankers' Association website.
A standing order is an instruction you give to your bank to pay the same amount of money to a company's or individual's bank or building society account on the day of your choice. Payments can be made weekly, monthly or as often as you wish, although they may not necessarily be received on the same day as they are sent.
What are the advantages?
These payment options allow you to keep track of your finances, as you know in advance when and how much money will come out of your account. It's important to make sure there is money in your account when the payments are made, so it would be good to have them going out a day or two after your salary has gone in. Payments will not be made if funds are not available, and you could face charges.
How do I set them up?
To set up a Direct Debit, you need to contact the company you wish to pay, and they will take the details of your bank account and arrange to set up the payment instruction with Barclays. To change or cancel Direct Debits, you should contact us as well as the company that holds the Direct Debit.
For a standing order, you need to give us your account details and the bank account details of the company or person to whom you want to make the payment. You also need to specify the amount, the date on which you wish the first payment to be made and the date you want the payments to go out of your account in future. You can set standing orders up online, and you can cancel them in Online and Telephone Banking or at your local branch.
Plan your monthly budget
List all your outgoings such as mortgage, rent, bills, road tax, food and childcare. Add up what this amounts to monthly and then compare against your income. If your outgoings are more than your income, or you’re left with very little, you may need to cut back.
Use our Budget Planner to identify if your spending is within your income.
Consider cutting back on non-essential spending
What could you cut down on? Even cutting back on small things can really make the savings add up. Swapping your daily sandwich from the canteen with a home-made equivalent can add up to a sizeable sum over a month
Use our Little Extras Calculator to see how much you can save by cutting back on the non-essentials. And any excess can be used towards the little luxuries and also put aside as savings and for unexpected expenses
Other forms of money
Gift vouchers and money-off coupons for local supermarkets can help you make your money go further.
Thinking about saving?
With many Barclays savings accounts you can start saving with as little as £1 and have instant access to your cash for any unexpected expenses. savings accounts