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Money is a difficult thing to get right, most of us feel like we don’t have enough at one time or another. But being able to stay in control, pay things on time, stick to a budget and be prepared means you’ll never end up in a pickle and you set yourself up for a bright financial future.
Here are a few ways you can go about it.
Having savings in the bank, even just a few hundred dollars gives you some kind of ‘buffer’ if things go wrong. If your car breaks down or your washing machine breaks, you can have them fixed without getting into a huge panic about where the money is coming from.
If you get an unexpected bill or expense come through, you can cover this without worry. Savings mean you don’t have to scrabble around lending money or getting into debt if something crops up that you need to pay for, and building some up can be one of the most beneficial things you can do in your adult life.
This could be as simple as throwing change into a jar, once it’s full take it to the bank and have them transfer it into your savings account. You could transfer a portion of your wages each month from your bank account into your savings, you could even sell things you no longer use and raise money for your savings account while having a declutter at the same time.
Another thing you could try is doing some work from home in your spare time, blogging and freelancing for example can both allow you to earn some extra cash. Anything you earn from these additional jobs can go straight to savings, as you’re not relying on this money to pay bills.
As well as having savings, having the right insurances are also useful and means you don’t end up out of pocket in certain situations. Dental, medical and home insurance are all examples- that way if something goes wrong you know it will get sorted and you don’t end up in financial ruin.
In some situations, you simply need access to cold hard cash. However in many others, as long as you’re insured you can recoup your costs and won’t end up being left in the lurch. Work out what kind of insurances will be best for you and your lifestyle.
Shop around for the best deals but don’t just choose the cheapest, always read the fine print so you know exactly what your insurance covers. With a bit of luck you don’t ever run into the kind of horrible scenario that requires you to need your insurance, but if you do you’ll be so glad that you came prepared.
Avoid Running Up Debt
Debt doesn’t discriminate, it can affect anyone. Often, people who end up debt start with the best of intentions- a store card here, a credit card there. They start by paying off the full balance each month, but fast forward a year down the line and a huge balance is being carried over and they’re getting charged a tonne of interest.
Sometimes, the interest rates can end up so high that you can only afford to make the minimum payment- which is actually only interest so doesn’t bring down the debt at all. In lots of cases, people end up seeking bankruptcy protection as they simply can no longer afford to cover their outgoings.
If you’re prone to overspending then avoid credit completely, if you know you can be careful then take out one card with a small limit and pay it back each month which will help you to build up some positive credit history. It’s easy to think ‘it won’t happen to me’ but debt really can sneak up on you, so be careful.
Work to a Budget
Something that all financially savvy people do, whether they earn a little or a lot is work to a budget. Knowing what money you have coming in and what goes out is useful.
Setting yourself financial limits on things instead of spending as you please can keep your finances in check. For example, having a specific amount of money for socializing each week, for groceries and for any luxuries you pay for means you can still lead the lifestyle you want but without living above your means. There are lots of budgeting apps out there that can make this easy for you.
Go through bank statements regularly and keep tabs on what you’re spending, is this money that could be put to better use elsewhere? Know what you can spend on different areas and stick with it, don’t start borrowing money from bills or rent accounts with the intention of putting it back later, as this is how you end up in trouble financially.
Be Organized With Bill Paying
None of us like paying bills, we work hard and it can feel like these companies snatch the money off us the second it lands in the bank. However paying bills is inevitable, we all have to do it if we want to keep a roof over our head, keep warm and have luxuries like phones and internet.
For this reason, it makes sense to get organised with your bills as they’re never going to go away and need paying consistently month after month. One way you can do this is by opening up a bank account that’s solely used for bills, and set up everything to come out of here via direct debit.
Each month when you get paid you can transfer over the amount that you need to cover everything and then not have to worry about it. This way, you’re never falling into arrears with your bills. You’re not having to catch up the following month which is what can start to get you into a pickle with money. Know exactly what comes out, on which date and what amount.
Whether you run an entire household, or still live with parents and only pay for your phone, car and gym, keep in control of your bills and always be organised when it comes to paying. Get this wrong and you could ruin your credit score and even have debt collectors chasing you.