Despite your best efforts to stay on top of things, financial matters can get away from you, resulting in less-than-ideal conditions. When your finances take a turn for the worse, or you simply find yourself facing an unhealthy monetary moment, adopting a proactive approach can help lift you to a better financial position. A recent series of articles, shared by Be Clever With Your Cash blogger, Andy Webb, highlights a handful of strategies you can use to improve your finances this year.
Get Your Savings in Order
Like many other financial goals, saving money is sometimes easier said than done. By the time your monthly outgoings have their way with your paycheck, you may not have resources left to make steady savings contributions. Although it can be difficult to make ends meet and still find a way to put by cash, it’s an important piece of your financial puzzle, so should not be overlooked. Webb shared these strategies for doing a better job growing your savings pot this year.
- Work out what you can afford to save – Your finances account for various types of spending. The first step toward putting by money is working out a sum to target. For the best results choosing a goal, start by totaling your monthly spending essentials. Once you’ve accounted for housing payments, car costs, insurance, and other monthly musts, you’re left with a figure, representing what’s left, after essentials. You’ll want to reserve some of this balance for discretionary buys, such as entertainment and social spending, but the remainder is fair game for reaching your savings goals.
- Separate money – Co-mingling money earmarked for savings with other funds makes it harder to resist spending. For results you can take to the bank, create a separate account for money you hope to put by for the future. Not only does separating funds reduce the temptation to spend, but a dedicated account also makes it easier to track your savings as it grows.
- Put your savings in an account with a decent interest rate – Choosing the right account helps your money grow faster, compared to basic savings accounts, which may offer poor rates.
- Make saving a priority – Once you’ve established a monthly savings goal, prioritise meeting it. Waiting until the end of each month may leave you short, so it pays to put by cash from your first paycheck each month, to get a head start on reaching your goal.
The price you pay for credit may be placing a hidden drain on your finances, dragging down your monthly cash flow. Each time you need an advance or line of credit, it’s a good idea to explore various financing options, such as no-credit-check loans, traditional revolving credit card accounts, as well as conventional bank finance alternatives.
In order to tighten-up your debt and interest obligations, start by evaluating your finances, paying particular attention to the amount of money spent servicing credit accounts. As you work out the total cost, consider things like interest payments, fees, loan origination expenses, and penalties for paying late. Your goal should be reducing your overall obligation, related to the various types of credit used to cover personal spending needs. Overdrafts should also be factored-in when calculating your personal credit costs.
Finding more money in your budget to wipe debts faster is one way to make headway, reducing what you spend on credit. And you may also be able to restructure outstanding debt obligations by using more cost-effective types of credit to reduce your spend.
Find a Better Deal
Consumer spending falls across a wide range of goods and services, so it’s easy to lose track of what you spend on individual items. When cash is flush, you may not be concerned about saving a few pounds, here and there. But when cash flow suffers under the weight of a ballooning budget, finding better deals on the things you buy can a have a dramatic impact on your bottom line. You may find better financial balance this year, by assessing your spend and getting the best possible deal on banking services, credit card accounts, energy bills, insurance premiums, TV, and mobile charges.
If your finances have gone off track, these three strategies can help you turn things around, this year. For better outcomes in 2019, set aside more savings than you did last year, control credit costs, and find the best available deals on goods and services.