You know what they say – money makes the world go round and it’s kind of true. Whilst it certainly isn’t everything, it is important to realise that money is a tool that can help you to achieve things.
Most of us have to work really hard for the money we bring in. Whichever way money comes into your household, being smart with it is really important.
So here are my top tips for making your money work for you:
- Budget. There are so many handy online budget calculators that will help you with this. Know what is coming in and exactly what is going out. If you are spending more than you earn then don’t bury your head in the sand. You need to know so you can do something about it.
- Pay back your debt. If you have debts and you have savings, it is much more financially savvy to pay back what you owe. Savings should come later when you are in the clear. If you don’t have any savings then be realistic and work out a plan to pay back the money and live within your means.
- Choose a bank account with rewards that you will actually use. For some reason it has become the norm to charge people for their bank accounts and then add on a load of benefits to make it look ok. Make sure that the £10 a month or whatever it is, is worth it. Choose a bank account that works for you in terms of the benefits on offer. For example, there is no point having worldwide family travel insurance if you are a single person who never travels or having car breakdown cover if you don’t drive.
- Manage your Direct Debits. You should know what is going out of your account every month and where it is going. Check that the details look right each month and that you are not over or under paying one of your direct debits. Before cancelling a direct debit, it’s always worth getting in touch with the company to check that it’s ok. If you cancel a direct debit without first informing the company, it can go against you on your credit rating.
- I know I said to eliminate debt but if you have done so and you are in control of your spending, think about using a pre-paid credit card when you go on holiday such as this one from icount. It’s a good way of controlling your spending on holiday without having the worry of carrying around cold, hard cash. You will also benefit from excellent exchange rates and no ATM fees for withdrawing money abroad.
- Save & Invest. Once you are clear of debt, I suggest saving aggressively so that you have at least a six month contingency fund stashed away. As there are so many places to invest and save your money, I highly recommend employing the services of a decent financial planner. It might seem like a ball-ache but it will be one of the most financially savvy decisions you ever make. Do it now.
So that’s it. My top tips for managing your money. If as many people do, you have debts to clear and less money coming in than you need each month, then why not think about diversifying your income. Work out the amount of income you need and make a plan for how you can make the extra up. There are a lot of ways to make money at home – most of which do require hard work and a bit of grit such as blogging.
Nothing worthwhile ever comes easy but I really believe that you can achieve anything that you put your mind to.