The cost of living crisis is causing many people to review their finances. Where will the money come from to pay eye-popping increases in home energy costs, not to mention food and fuel price rises?

CAP Money is a free course that will teach you budgeting skills and a simple, cash-based system that works. In just a few weeks, you will get to grips with your finances so you can budget, save and prevent debt.

Oxford Churches Debt Centre has partnered with Christians Against Poverty to offer CAP Money courses free of charge in our community. 

Whether you feel pretty organised or whether it’s like a lucky dip every time you try to withdraw cash from your account, the CAP Money Course will help you take complete control of your finances. 

Local courses:

We are running the course again over three sessions, hosted by Headington Baptist Church, on Saturdays 26th November and 3rd & 10th December starting at 10 am. Visit the CAP Money website and put in your postcode to find out more and book a place on CAP Money.  

Spring clean your finances

Wherever you’re at, it’s a good idea to take time to review your finances. Checking in with where you’re at financially can help to relieve stress and gives you the chance to get help sooner, if needed, rather than putting it off.

What are you saving for?

Before you start putting together your budget, it’s important to consider your main goals for the year ahead. This may include saving towards a big purchase, or for an event like a holiday (when we can all start travelling again). Then, break down how to achieve that goal.

Although you can start saving by setting aside a specific amount each month, there are other ways to save money, such as shopping around for better deals on services like insurance when it’s up for renewal. It could be as simple as increasing how much you’re able to save by being cannier when shopping. Just ask yourself the question: what can I reduce, what can I cut out and what can I save?

Remember to also check through your standing orders and direct debits and see if there’s anything else you can cut out, such as a subscription you no longer use.

With your main goal considered, you can then plan how to get there by creating a budget using an online tool such as Money Saving Expert’s budget planner.

What’s next?

To stay on track, it’s important to make reviewing your budget a part of your regular routine.

If it goes a bit awry one month, that’s okay! Identify what went wrong and approach the following month as a fresh start. A budget is never set in stone but is meant to be a tool that you use regularly and review as your circumstances change.

Spending a little time regularly taking stock of your budget is time well spent and will help you move ever closer to your long-term goals.