It’s Financial Capability Week (14-20 November), when Citizens Advice and other organisations focus on the work we do to help people improve their money management skills.

We help people with a range of money issues, including day-to-day budgeting, getting better deals on energy and other bills, and dealing with debts.

Our specialist adviser Richard shares his top tips for managing your money:

  1. Check your bank statements
    Go through your bank statements and check the payments to make sure you know what they are. Are there any payments you don’t recognise or direct debits for services you no longer use? Keep an eye out in case there’s anything you need to challenge or cancel.
  2. Know what’s going in and out
    Do you know which payments are going in and out of your bank account, including the amounts and dates? Keeping track makes it much easier to avoid running out of money or getting overdrawn. You can also change the dates of your direct debits to make payments on a day that suits you (the day after your salary or benefits go into your account, for example).
  3. Use the jam jar approach
    The jam jar approach is dividing your money into separate pots for different expenses. It’s a great way to manage your budget and make sure your bills are covered. You could use different bank accounts or a jam jar account with a credit union.
  4. Save up for yearly expenses
    These could include Christmas presents, annual expenses for your car (maintenance, road tax, car and breakdown insurance), home insurance, summer holidays, and anything else you pay for once a year. If you save up for these items every month you can spread the cost throughout the year.
  5. Shop around for deals
    Make sure you’re getting the best value deals for your energy, phone, internet and TV. When your contract ends, compare prices and consider switching or negotiating with your provider. Find tips and deals at MoneySavingExpert.com or contact Citizens Advice for help.

For more information and tips, please see our FAQs on managing your money and debt. And if you need advice or help with budgeting or debts, please visit or contact us.