1. GET ORGANISED
Often times we can bury our head in the sand. The first place to start is to get a clear understanding of your income and expenditure, create an Excel spreadsheet and document this information.
Then get a clear understanding of any outstanding debts that you might have. Getting a copy of your credit report can help you do this. You can get a free one from Noddle or a free one for 30 days from Experian (Be sure to check the terms and conditions).
Make sure you open any unopened mail and action accordingly.
2. CREATE A BUDGET
The aim of creating a budget is to enable you to track your spending. It will allow you to better allocate your resources, get in control and be intentional with your money. It will also help you to avoid spending on unnecessary items or services.
Martin Lewis, from Money Saving Expert, has created a Budget Planner which will be able to help you to create a budget.
3. REDUCE OR PAY OFF ANY DEBTS
If you have any debts, as much as you would like them to just disappear, the truth of the matter is they just won’t. You have to take accountability and start to pay them back. One way to do this is to get in touch with a free debt management organisation, who can offer you free advice and support to suit your needs. Organisations such as Payplan or your local Citizen’s Advice Bureau can offer you this service.
4. SAVE FOR SUCCESS
A good rule of thumb is to save a minimum of 10% of your earnings each month. Pay yourself first – you can do this by ensuring that you do not see this money and that as soon as you get paid this money goes straight into a saving account via standing order or direct debit. Seek advice from your bank in regards to what saving account and what method of extraction will work best for you.
5. SET SMART FINANCIAL GOALS
We love SMART goals here at Opportunity Access Careers, and for your finances it’s no different.
Here are some examples of SMART financial goals:
- SPECIFIC: “I want to improve my credit rating.”
- MEASURABLE: “I’ll pay an extra £50 a month to reduce my debts.”
- ACHIEVABLE: “I’ll save at least 10% of my income every month.”
- REALISTIC: “I’ll reduce the amount I spend on socialising per month by £25”
- TIMELY: “I aim to get a better credit rating in 12 months”
Do you have any other tips to help with managing your finances? Please comment below.