How to understand your finance ‘bumps’

By Pippa Thompson

Provident customers tell us that they know how to budget and that they do this on a daily basis. Budgeting is a very personal exercise as everyone has their own way to do this. What’s more, only you know when you get paid, what your spending is and what your financial commitments are.

However, a challenge for budgeters is knowing where their ‘bumps in the road’ are – the times of year which tend to be expensive for them.

From festivals to summer holidays, school uniforms to keeping the kids busy, spending commitments during the summer months can quickly add up and budgets go out of the window.

What you can do: Plan out your summer in advance so you can put money aside for activities. Search your local area for free activities to keep your kids busy, or look for cheap activities such as craft ideas for rainy days and trips to the park for nicer weather days.

We have a guide for cheap festival essentials here as well as money saving tips for school uniforms here and how to make school uniforms last here.


Saving for Christmas is always demanding. Expenses such as gifts, travel, parties and of course Christmas dinner mean that our wallets are constantly being drained.

What you can do: start planning your spending from September. Make a list of who you need to buy for and put a spending limit on each person. If you’re cooking Christmas dinner, plan out what you need and don’t feel you have to cook the picture perfect Christmas meal- do you really need Yorkshire Pudding as well as Pigs In Blankets and Turkey?

Don’t take on all the work for Christmas dinner, especially if you have family visiting. Instead, plan in advance and suggest that everyone brings a dish.

When it comes to presents, agree spending limits or agree to just buy for the children. Alternatively, suggest a Secret Santa.

Birthday months
It seems to be that everyone you know has birthdays in a certain period and this can wreak havoc with your budget – especially if everyone hits a landmark year!

What you can do: it can be hard to discuss financial difficulties or say ‘no’ to celebrations, but there are ways around this. If everyone hits a landmark year at the same time, suggest a joint party to celebrate. Can you suggest a birthday Secret Santa? Alternatively suggest just buying gifts for the children.


About the author:

Provident has been putting customers at the heart of its business since 1880. It provides small loans to customers who would otherwise have been turned down for credit from more mainstream lenders.

Provident offers a face to face service through its local Agents, who take customers through their application, including an affordability assessment and ultimately decide whether you are eligible for the loan.

If the customer is accepted for the loan, the Agent will then deliver the money and collect repayments.

Representative 399.7% APR.

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