More that a third of young Brits are scared to check their bank balance. But in my experience it's not just young people who tend to bury their head in the sand over their financial position. The best thing you can do is tackle it head on. Here are some tips:
1. Get to know where you're spending your money and allocate budgets for things like going out, clothes, holidays, repairs, car expenses, savings, etc. Once you’ve spent the budget then that’s it for the month. If you have debt then you need to look at whether savings are the right place to put your money.
2. Look at how you can pay down debts quickly (even if the only debt you have is your mortgage). Start with the one that has the highest interest rate. Better still, if you can apply for a credit card with an interest free period transfer the balance onto this and put the money into a savings account until the period is up (or pay off other debt).
3. If you don’t have debt then look at how you can make your money grow. It’s fairly easy to achieve an annual return of at least 8% as long as you don’t rely on just putting your money in the bank.
4. Look at your utility bills, telephone, mobile and internet contracts. Could you save some cash by moving to cheaper suppliers? It’s easy to use comparison websites to check this out.
5. Is there something you spend money on regularly that adds up to a lot over the year? For example if you regularly buy lunch you could save over £700 a year by making your own packed lunch.
6. Do you have ‘stuff’ in your attic or spare room you could sell? Not only will you get rid of unwanted things that are cluttering up your space but you could end up with some cash to pay off your debt.
7. Save for your tax bill! It comes around every year and if you have a good accountant they wil give you an estimate of your tax bill based on what you expect to happen in the tax year. Divide it by 10 and set this aside every month. Why 10? You’ll have some money left over you can use for a treat at the most miserable time of the year – January!
If you need a hand to get your personal finances sorted out then send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org
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