Whether you are saving for a rainy day or are looking to make a particularly big purchase in the not-too-distant future, getting your finances in check is absolutely crucial – but how does everyone manage it? Day to day living costs are going up – and more and more people are looking at new and different ways to boost and bolster their finances so they can afford to live and enjoy the finer things in life! Your circumstances may well vary – but here’s our quick look at things you can do right away to get your financial health in check.
No Unnecessary Expenses
Managing our personal finances can sometimes appear more complex than it actually is, when writing down what we spend our money on it becomes a little clearer. It doesn’t mean that you have to become obsessive but in order to learn; you will need to address the situation. Do you need that daily cup of coffee or could you make it at the office? Cut back on coffees, meals out, weekend drinks and start monitoring some of the unnecessary purchases.
Consider a Credit Card
Credit cards are a great way to spread the cost of big purchases, but consider your options wisely. This type of financing should only ever be considered if you can feasibly pay back monthly costs – you’re going to need to consider your income and your ability to pay in the long and the short term – and to really prepare yourself, always undertake a credit report so you know where you stand.
Avoid the Debt Spiral
By making sure you account for your regular, essential outgoings, and by ensuring that your income is greater than your outgoings, you’ll have little to worry about – but there are plenty of things you can do if you find that you’re spending more than you’re earning, and this doesn’t necessarily mean having to find a new job or having to cut back on the essentials! Consider approaching a debt help site or a debt consolidation specialist.
Prepare for the Unexpected
Saving isn’t perhaps as easy as it seems – but this doesn’t mean that you can’t account for a rainy day. In your budgeting plan, make space for unexpected or ‘miscellaneous’ expenses – if you run a car or look after pets, for example, costs can pop up when you least expect them to. If you have space left in your financial plan, always try and have a little bit put by – or you could be finding yourself taking out loans and falling into dangerous repayment spirals.
Consider Loans Carefully
Loans can be very helpful – but do consider your options very carefully. Only ever approach reputable, regulated money lenders with terms and conditions that you fully agree with and can abide by – ‘pay day’ lenders have received a bad rap over the years for inflating APR (interest) costs. Approach your bank or a reputable financial institution first and foremost – and never leap into an agreement unless you can feasibly make repayments. Look for a loan calculator online, too, to prepare yourself fully.