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Tips to Get Your Finances in Order

December 9, 2014

Money isn’t everything in life, but it can certainly make things easier. It allows you to live more comfortably, save more easily and also treat yourself to the odd luxury which can make all of your hard work feel worth it. But a better job or promotion might be years off or out of reach entirely, so what can you do to make your finances that bit easier? Here are a few ideas to consider.

Create a Budget

A budget is vital, to stay in control of your money you need to know exactly where it’s going each month. Write down every bill and every expense you have to pay out. From utilities to vehicle costs, rent or mortgage, groceries, school trips, haircuts- anything that you spend on. That way you can work out what you’re currently paying out and where you can make cutbacks. For example, instead of paying £3 for your morning coffee at Starbucks, you could invest in a coffee machine or some nice coffee and take your own in a flask which would save money overall. You could buy less big brands and shop smarter to cut food costs. You could switch energy suppliers to save money. From there, write down the date everything needs to be paid and how much. You could always use a budgeting app to make this easier for yourself.

Plan For The Future

Being smart with money isn’t just about spending it wisely in the here and now. You should think about the future, different situations that can crop up and potentially leave you in the lurch. For example, having contents insurance will mean you’re protected if you are burgled or your possessions are damaged in a fire or flood. That way you don’t have to fork out for them again. Life insurance and a clear will means if anything happens to you your family are ok- you could get a free will template online. Having savings in the bank for emergencies is always useful too, aim to create a buffer in case you lose your job or need access to money fast.

Get Out of Debt

Debt is a big problem as it’s often be a slippery slope, easy to get into and difficult to get out of. This is predominantly because interest rates accumulate as the debt builds, and once you reach a certain point you can only afford to make the minimum payment each month which pays the interest  but doesn’t bring down the balance. One option if your credit score is still good is to take out a loan for consolidation purposes, that way you pay off all of your accounts with this loan (and close them!) and are only paying one loan back. Not only does this make things easier but you can save on interest too. If you don’t have a good credit score to be able to take out a loan or credit card to do this, your best bet would be to speak to a debt management company or debt charity.  They can contact creditors for you and work to freeze the interest on your debts as well as ask for reduced payments. This can stop you from getting further into debt and help you regain control over your finances.

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