5 Steps To Better Financial Wellbeing
Finances are a source of stress and anguish for many people. Sometimes your money simply doesn’t stretch far enough and you can struggle. Thankfully there are steps you can take that will make your life a lot easier and allow you to streamline your finances. Here we look at 5 ways you can get your finances in shape.
There's nothing better you can do than budget effectively and the best place to start is by completing an income and expenditure form. It helps to give you a clear idea of how much money is going to be left over after your bills have been paid.
Two huge points are usually found from completing this task. Firstly, you can easily see expenditures that you should be cutting back from and how much they can save you. Secondly, they often surprise you with how much money is left over minus luxury spending.
Having everything there in front of you in black and white makes it much easier to plan ahead. It’ll allow you to strategize how much should be set aside for debt payments, how you can restrict spending in other areas and also your saving potential.
2. Cancel subscriptions and direct debits
It can be easy to lose track of just how much you are spending. Almost everyone has something that they’re paying for which isn’t representing good value for money. You need to create a list of all of your subscriptions, standing orders and direct debits.
When you do, you need to ask yourself two questions.
Do I really need this?
Can I make it cheaper?
An example of the first one could be a subscription to a magazine or perhaps a subscription to a sports channel. Are you getting your money’s worth? If you’re not, cancel it.
A good example of the second one is your utilities. Shop around and see if you can get a better deal as you can often find new tariffs that will save you a significant amount of money and help your financial wellbeing.
3. Set goals
Setting goals can help to focus your mind as you aim to achieve your financial goals. One common goal people will have is to save a specific amount of money each month. This will help you to curtail some of your non-essential spending.
A good way to keep you motivated is by rewarding yourself when you hit these goals. Treating yourself to a bottle of wine, concert tickets or anything you love can help to spur you on to your next financial goal. While rewarding yourself may sound counterintuitive, it can ultimately stop you from slipping into bad habits as you’ll have something to look forward to.
4. Track your spending
Do you like an alcoholic drink, love going to watch sports, or have a smoking habit? These are types of luxury spending that can end up building up to something significant on a monthly basis. While grabbing that a 4-pack of beer may seem like a small expense, if you do that every other day you could be spending around £100 a month. Likewise, getting one takeaway a week can be a similar monthly expense.
While it’s always important to treat yourself and enjoy life, it makes financial sense to track these spends and perhaps put a cap on them for better personal finance. A lot of the time these spending caps will not only benefit your bank balance but also your physical health along with your financial health.
5. Organize your debts
If you have debts then they could be a huge financial burden. Many people try not to think about them or set up their direct debits and accept them as an ongoing cost. Instead, you should tackle your debts head-on and organize them.
Have a credit card with particularly high interest? See if you can get a balance transfer or focus on paying that one off quicker. Have several payday loans? Perhaps it would make sense to get a bank loan and pay them off and leaving yourself with a much lower monthly payment.
Create a list or spreadsheet of all the debts you have, the balance, interest, and monthly payment. This will help you to give you focus and you'll love amending those balances and reducing that debt.
Along with our 5 main tips, here are some additional personal finance help tips.
Free overdraft – Find yourself drifting into your overdraft and getting charged? If so, switch to an account with a free overdraft to prevent them.
Price comparison – Complete a price comparison on everything and always check where you can get an item for cheaper.
Haggle – Many people are shy about trying to ask for less than the offered price but it's always worth trying to get a better a deal.
Try cheaper brands – Think that cheaper brands at the supermarket would be no good? Give it a try, you may be pleasantly surprised.
Make a meal plan – Often find yourself throwing away food that is out of date? Create a meal plan so you can use everything you have.
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