From time to time, we all struggle with our finances, whether that means you are paying off some kind of debt or finding it hard to cover all of your monthly expenses. This is due to the fact that we are not often taught about the importance of good money management as children, making it harder to understand the concept as an adult. What’s more, there are often social barriers in place that make it harder for certain people to obtain wealth and security. As Reno Omokri stated, the money can’t buy happiness quote was invented by rich people to prevent poor people from getting rich.
As a result, it’s important that we take the necessary steps to slowly and securely improve our financial security – without having to rely on others. Here are some great ways to get started.
- Start budgeting.
Whenever payday rolls around, it’s easy to get carried away with spending. One of the easiest ways in which you can reign this in is by setting yourself a clear budget. To begin with, write down a list of your monthly expenses. This could include:
- Rent/mortgage cost
- Insurance costs (Health, house, car, etc.)
- Utility bills (Gas, electric, water)
- Grocery bills (Food, drink)
- Entertainment costs
- Transportation (Petrol/Gas, bus/train tickets)
- Subscription services (Netflix, Amazon Prime, etc.)
Once you have a general idea of everything you need to pay for (the more specific, the better), you can start allocating a certain amount of money to each item on your list. However, the hard part of budgeting is actually sticking to the budget itself. You need to be disciplined and committed to saving money if you want it to work. One way in which you can make this process easier is by installing a free budgeting app on your phone that can help you keep on top of your spending.
Putting together a budget also gives you the chance to set yourself financial goals. For example, if you find that you are constantly overspending on transportation, you could aim to reduce the amount of money you spend by walking or cycling to work.
2. Consider a career change.
Knowing the value of your time and effort is essential when determining whether or not you are being paid a fair wage. If you are not, then it may be time to request a raise or ask for a promotion. If your employer cannot or will not provide you with this, then you could begin to seek employment elsewhere – especially if you feel unfulfilled in your current position. When switching careers, think carefully about what you bring to the table – as though you may not have much experience in your desired industry, you’ll likely have acquired a lot of transferable skills throughout your professional life that you can apply to any number of jobs. For example, being an excellent communicator is a valuable asset to any team. However, it’s important to remember that while money is good, your peace of mind is even more important, meaning that you should also try to find a job you know you will love. For example, if you have a deep love of horses and racing, you might want to explore a career in training, following in the footsteps of the Best Cheltenham Festival Trainers. Turning your hobbies and passions into a viable career is an excellent way to boost your financial security, as you will also feel more motivated and focused at work, meaning you will actually want to do a good job. The better you perform at work, the higher the chances there are of you receiving a promotion sooner rather than later.
3. Open a savings account.
When it comes to improving your financial security, it almost goes without saying that you need to open some kind of savings account. Moving money from your regular bank into a savings account means you’re less likely to spend it accidently and you could even begin to earn interest on the money you put in. Thankfully, there are plenty of different options to choose from when it comes to opening a savings account, so be sure to research each of your options carefully ahead of time to ensure that you are getting the best possible deal.
When it comes to saving up money, a little can go a long way. For example, if you can only spare around $10 a week, by the end of the year you will have $522 in your savings account (plus any interest that you have earned). This money can then be used to treat yourself to something exciting, such as a vacation or new outfit, or can be used as a rainy day fund for any troubles that may arise in the future. Having a solid savings account could also be useful if you are planning to move house or purchase property in the near future.
4. Shop around for the best deal.
Sometimes, we waste money without even realising it as we overpay for certain products or services. As a result, it’s important that you are always on the lookout for the best possible deal when it comes to spending money. For example, while you will always have to be willing to pay for utilities bills – your current provider may not be your best option. Use price comparison websites to compare deals across different providers, and find an offer that suits both your needs and your budget. Sometimes, when you inform your current provider of your intention to leave, they may also provide you with a tempting (and cheaper) counter-offer, so it’s definitely worth brushing up on your negotiation skills too.
If you spend a lot of time shopping online, you may also want to consider installing apps such as Honey, which provide you with automatic discount codes that you can apply to hundreds of different purchases – whether you are shopping for clothes or booking your next vacation. Even better, honey is completely free to download.
5. Avoid big brands and shop local.
Chain brands, in particular larger grocery stores, often charge more for their products than smaller businesses. Therefore, you can improve both your spending habits and your financial security by finding alternative places to shop, such as the local farmer’s market. Furthermore, by choosing smaller brands over the more recognizable chains, you are also helping smaller business stay afloat after what was no doubt a very difficult year for them financially.
Another way in which you can save money when it comes to shopping is by purchasing items second hand, be that online or at your local thrift store. Not only is this much kinder on your wallet, you are also helping to reduce waste and protect the environment. Furthemore, you could also make some extra cash selling your own pre-loved items, such clothes, toys and furniture.
6. Consider investing.
Once you have been saving money for a little while, you may feel as though you want to find even more ways to boost your bank account. One way in which you can do this is by investing – thought it is important to know that this is not without its risks. If you invest in the wrong brand or product, you could end up losing considerable amounts of money taking you right back to square one. As a result, it’s important that you invest your money wisely, in brands or products that are considered low-risk. Alternatively, you could also work with a financial adviser who can help you decide which investments will work for you.