Space invaders!

No, not the great electronic game, but the space between what you get and what you spend...which gets, well invaded!

Usually every month, just about 10 days before you get paid.

You know that sinking feeling when the two balances never quite match and there's an overlap, usually in the wrong direction. And when the monthly cash does go your way, the annual insurance bill arrives to munch through any funds you may have saved...or already double spent elsewhere. Nightmare!

So, you need a change. You need to move to 'level 2' in the quite addictive game that is your money planning. I say addictive because most people can't do without money, and to some extent we are all controlled by it, otherwise our worlds would look very different!

Sure, budget planners are not the most exciting of things to look at, let alone fill in, but they have their place and might work. A good free one can be found here:

www.moneyadviceservice.org.uk/en/tools/budget-planner

There are others and another example can be found here:

https://www.citizensadvice.org.uk/Documents/Advice%20factsheets/Debt/d-budget-sheet.pdf

But what else can you achieve? When's the last time you had a pay rise or promotion? The expression 'you don't miss what you never had' gets bandied around a fair bit. When you next get a pay rise, take the extra you receive and save it somewhere straight away. On the day you get your payslip and it enters your bank account. Take the extra out and put into a savings account (new or old) elsewhere. If you don't want to do this, and sadly if it's not much, take it out as cash and put it somewhere very safe. Do it every time you get paid and build it up. Almost as though you never had it. You won't miss it because you never had it before, you won't build it into your budget, because you already 'spent it', it's like an asteroid in the electronic game, it vaporised in front of you!

This strategy is not going to make you rich, unless your pay rise was enormous! And the amount you save in this way to some extent does not matter. It's the fab fact that you started saving that's the gateway to getting to level 2.

Try it soon before it's 'Game Over'!