10 Ways to Improve Your Finances
We all like to have money in our accounts or spare cash to splash on the thigs we want. Sometimes, it can be hard to get to the stage where we have a healthy account or the ability to buy what we want. It can be very difficult, but not impossible. Here are our top tips on improving your finances.
Cancel unused direct debits or subscriptions
Are you signed up to a gym that you don’t go to or a magazine that you don’t read? Look at all your direct debits and subscriptions and decide whether or not they are still relevant. If you have any subscriptions that you don’t use or have forgotten about, cancel them or start utilising them.
Pay off debts
If you have any debts with high interest, pay them off first. Interest can quickly add up to large sums of money, so clear it as quickly as possible. Be aware that this may have an impact on your credit score. Once you have paid off any loans or credit cards with high interest, you may find it easier to start saving and getting your finances back on track.
Swap your credit card
If you pay high interest rates on your credit card, you may want to consider changing your card. Be aware that this may have an impact on your credit score. Do your research on cards that offer lower interest rates and your transfer clauses on your current card. There are free credit searches online that do not affect your credit score, but can show your likelihood of being accepted by a card provider. Paying less interest will reduce your monthly expenditures.
It seems like the most obvious tip but it’s probably the hardest one to do. Saving takes sacrifice and discipline, depending on your income. You can work out all your monthly expenditures and deduct it from your income. This will leave your total of disposable income. Decide on an amount which you know you can comfortably save each month and stick to it. Deduct that amount from your pay immediately, so that you don’t spend it.
Get a savings account
If you only have a current account, consider opening a savings account. Be aware that this may affect your credit score because you are opening a new financial product. If you already have a savings account, you can set up a standing order from your current account straight to your savings account to deter you from touching your savings. Find a savings product with good interest to help your savings account grow as you save.
Do you buy full price products, then a short time later, you kick yourself because it’s now on sale? We have all been there. The easiest way to save money without changing your life style is to find bargains. There are numerous websites that provide discount codes for days out, clothing and food. You can also find great deals by making simple swaps on your food shop. Most super markets offer a range of brands, you can always swap that expensive pasta sauce for a cheaper brand, or even make your own!
Like discounts, there are websites and places that offer freebies. There are always free things to do without having to stay at home. Certain museums are free to enter or you can visit friends and family. Universities and Colleges sometimes offer free haircuts or beauty treatments.
If your card is contactless, or you have android or apple pay, you may end up spending more than you intended to. It’s so easy to just tap your card, without a second though, but those taps can add up. If you are going out, or going shopping but want to stick to a budget, take out cash instead of your card. Save your receipts to see exactly how much you spent and what you spent it on.
Technology has come a long way and is now a part of our everyday lives. You can get apps on your phone or tablet, which can track your spending or help you to budget. If you are an impulsive spender, you can see exactly how much you spend on different things to help you identify where most of your money is going. Once you know where your money is going, it can be easier to identify where you need to cut back on spending.
Most of all, change your spending habit or saving habit. With the these tips, it requires you to face your finances and your spending or saving habits. If you’re not very good at saving, or spend too much, you need to change your mind set and habits. It won’t be easy but once you get in the swing of things, it will get easier and become your new habit.