Regardless of personal circumstances, everyone needs to have some sort of plan for their finances. Money dictates so much and while it is not the most important thing in the world, there is no denying its importance in society and daily life. If you are someone who struggles to manage their money efficiently, this guide is filled with advice and tips geared in your direction.
Learn to Budget
The first, and perhaps most important piece of advice is around budgeting. A budget is a financial tool used by many to denote financial outgoings and incomings. For example, the monthly salary would be noted, and then underneath all bills are factored in. Rent, utilities, internet, car payments, phone payments – anything that falls under this category is usually classed as an essential bill because they are things that need to be paid to keep the house running smooth. Then, with any money left over, recreational activities and other necessities can be accounted for. The main benefits of learning how to budget are summarised here:
- A clear visual aid for managing money and financial commitments.
- A running commentary on incomings and outgoings.
- A flexible, moving representation to keep things on track.
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Main Bank Account
Preferably, have only one main bank account that you use for general spending. Lots of branches allow for pots within the account to separate payments for bills, or other specific purchases and expenses. Not all do this, but if this is something that appeals to you, it is a handy way of managing finances all in one place.
Above all, try to stay on top of how you manage it. If you do have an overdraft, don’t let it run over and accrue interest charges. This is a direct route to potential financial ruin. There are various types of the current account to pick from so it is worth exploring the various options to see what works for you in the most amenable way.
Savings accounts are a sensible thing to consider. If you can, put money away every month for various purposes like retirement funds and emergency necessities. IRA accounts for retirement purposes, for example, are a simple way to provide yourself with money for the future. They keep your money safe as far as possible, grow over time, and are a reliable source of income for when you stop work.
Looking After Credit Ratings
Your credit rating, or profile, dictates what you can invest in assets-wise. The score you have directly influences who will lend you money for things like mortgages and car finance. If your credit rating is poor, you will struggle to secure lines of credit, whereas if it is excellent there will be more flexibility here. Look after your credit by:
- Making monthly payments on time
- Not getting into excessive amounts of debt
- Not taking out too many lines of credit
- Ensuring to properly manage any bank accounts in your name
What is meant by debt? Well, any money that you have borrowed that needs paying back can be perceived as a debt, for example, credit cards and loans. Debt needs addressing and dealing with as a matter of importance. This is especially true if these debts are outstanding or defaulted in any way. Set up payment plans at an affordable rate in line with your budget, and get those debts shifted. Not only will your credit file benefit, but your mental health will too and more financial opportunity doors will be opened when it’s gone.
Don’t Ignore Things
This point is very important. Ignoring your balance, your debt, or your commitments can put you in a deep hole that is too hard to climb out of financially. Try to engage with things at least once a day, and if you are overwhelmed, ask for help!
Money is a subject society should discuss more openly. Raising awareness around this topic is an essential educative tool for young people, and indeed those of all ages can benefit from learning more too. It isn’t always intuitive, but there is value in managing finances properly.