Whether you’re planning to buy a car or a house - or are even gaining a new member of the household in the shape of a pet - you should always think about the bigger picture.
Before making a commitment, you should consider some key factors. The purchase of major big-ticket items such as a house or a car is not something that should be done on a whim. Similarly, pets carry an initial cost and on-going maintenance that you might not account for. Mobile phones may look like a bargain if you have little or no cash to put down up-front. However, they can cost significant amounts of money every month and you may end up paying many hundreds of pounds over the lifetime of your contract. Take your time to plan out your need for the item.
Consider the funding required and determine the lifetime cost. Once you’ve done that, can you afford it?
The following budgeting tools may help you in deciding whether you can afford the extra expense.
Citizens Advice Scotland's website has a budgeting tool which helps you list all your household income and expenditure, and helps you to prioritise your debts.
The Money Advice Service website has useful guides and resources such as calculators, comparison tables, letter templates, order forms and more to help you with many different areas
National debtline offer a confidential free online debt advice service through their My Money Steps website, helping you to create a personal action plan to manage your money better.
Christians against Poverty can also provide a money management course, providing a simple way to teach people how to build their budgeting skills.
Or contact your local credit union or the following organisations to see what they can offer:
Scotcash is a not-for-profit, social enterprise and a Community Interest Company. They can provide affordable loans, and also offer help with basic bank accounts, savings accounts and money advice for anyone living within a 25 mile radius of Glasgow city centre.
Fair For You is a Community Interest Company that provides affordable credit to enable people to buy household goods online. Their aim is not to make a profit from the community, but from the manufacturers themselves, and therefore can provide very affordable rates for loans. Find out more from their website.
Try our savings module to help you make a plan to save money for a major purchase.