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Make this change and live a happier life

Posted on 6 November 2017

Sometimes it feels like money is the root of all of our problems. In our recent research into the UK’s spending habits, we found that the happiest of all Brits used some form of budgeting.

‘Budgeting’ can mean a lot of things. Whilst we might think that keeping note of a few bits of spending here and there is enough, the actual amount you spend or don’t spend can end up being really different, sometimes leaving you short. That’s why the happiest people actually budget formally and check their bank accounts daily.

A budget is telling your money where to go, instead of wondering where it went.
Dave Ramsey

There’s a few ways that you can budget formally. You can use an app on your phone or a piece of software on your computer, or if like us you like to keep things simple, a pen and paper is all you need. Follow the steps below for a simple way to begin budgeting formally, and you could see yourself change for the happier.

Budgeting methods

Figure out your income

The best place to start is working out exactly how much money you have coming in regularly each month. To budget successfully you must be realistic with what you have coming in.

Outgoings

Write down separately your monthly costs for things like rent, council tax, energy bills, phone bills, internet provider, car insurance and so on.

Note down extra expenses

When you start to figure out where your money’s going each month, you can start to see areas where you might be able to save money. For example if you note down that you spend £300 a month on food shopping, you could have a look at money saving recipes or start shopping at a cheaper supermarket.

Manage any debts

Keep in mind each month if you have any debts that you might want to allocate part of your monthly income towards tackling this.

Check your bank balance

The happiest people we spoke to check their bank balance daily. This means that you can keep track of what you’re spending and notice sooner rather than later if that balance is getting a bit too low for your liking!

Spend your spare cash wisely

Now you’ve figured out what money needs to go where, you’ll know how much spare cash you have each month. Spending this cash wisely is a great way to ensure that you and your family are as happy as possible. Check out our Cash Happy blog to see what the nation’s happiest people spend their spare cash on.

If you found this article interesting, you may also like Mind the Savings Generation Gap or The Great British Inheritance Tug of War.

Research conducted by Charterhouse Research April 2017, commissioned by SunLife.

SunLife offers a range of straightforward and affordable products including over 50s life insurance, funeral plans, equity release, pet insurance, home insurance, car insurance, ISAs and Will writing services.

Here's the information that you need to know about who we are and the other companies that we work with in order to provide our products and services.

Who are SunLife?

Phoenix Life Limited trades as SunLife and is the provider of the Guaranteed Over 50 Plan, SunLife Insurance and the life insurance policy payment option for Funeral Plans. Phoenix Life Limited’s registered office is at 1 Wythall Green Way, Wythall, Birmingham, B47 6WG (registered in England, no. 1016269). 

SunLife Limited distributes financial products and services and is a company limited by shares, registered office: 1 Wythall Green Way, Wythall, Birmingham, B47 6WG (registered in England, no. 05460862). SunLife Limited is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority and is entered on the Financial Services Register (registration no. 769427).

You can contact us by post at SunLife, PO Box 1395, Peterborough, PE2 2TR or by phone on 0800 008 6060.

If you choose to add Funeral Benefit Option to your Guaranteed Over 50 Plan, Dignity Funerals Ltd arranges and provides the funeral services, registered office: 4 King Edwards Court, Sutton Coldfield, West Midlands, B73 6AP (registered in England and Wales, No. 00041598). Dignity Funerals Ltd is a member of the National Association of Funeral Directors.

Who provides the Funeral Plans?

Dignity Funerals Ltd arranges and provides the funeral services, registered office: 4 King Edwards Court, Sutton Coldfield, West Midlands, B73 6AP (registered in England and Wales, No. 00041598). Dignity Funerals Ltd is a member of the National Association of Funeral Directors.

The life insurance policy that pays for your funeral will be provided by Phoenix Life Limited, trading as SunLife.

Who provides My Smarter (ISA)?

My Smarter (ISA) is provided by Scottish Friendly Asset Managers Limited. Authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority. Details can be found on the Financial Services register, registration No. 188832. Member of The Investment Association. Registered Office: Scottish Friendly House, 16 Blythswood Square, Glasgow G2 4HJ.

Who provides the Will writing services?

Hugh James is authorised and regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA Number:303202).

The information contained on this website is based on Hugh James' understanding of the law of intestacy in England and Wales only as at April 2014. The law in Scotland and Northern Ireland is significantly different. This is for information purposes and is not intended to be legal advice.

Who provides SunLife Pet Insurance

SunLife Pet Insurance is arranged and administered by BDML Connect Limited. BDML Connect Limited is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (No. 309140). Registered in England and Wales Number 02785540. Registered Office: 45 Westerham Road, Bessels Green, Sevenoaks, Kent, TN13 2QB.

Who provides SunLife Home Insurance

SunLife Home Insurance is arranged and administered by BISL Limited and underwritten by a panel of insurers. BISL Limited are an intermediary authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority. Registered in England no. 03231094. Registered office Pegasus House, Bakewell Road, Orton Southgate, Peterborough PE2 6YS.

Who provides SunLife Car Insurance

SunLife Car Insurance is arranged and administered by BISL Limited and underwritten by a panel of insurers. BISL Limited are an intermediary authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority. Registered in England no. 03231094. Registered office Pegasus House, Bakewell Road, Orton Southgate, Peterborough PE2 6YS.