Money, the saying goes, makes the world go round… or, should we say, go round the bend? It could certainly have that effect on you if you fail to keep on top of your financial obligations. A missed payment here and there can wreak havoc on your credit score, after all.
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Rest easy that you don’t need to be a mathematical genius to keep track of your finances. Knowing just how to add and subtract would suffice, before you start following these tips…
Create a regular budget
How much are you spending each month? If you can only think of a “ballpark figure”, it could be significantly out of step with reality, so we would urge you to gather bills, bank statements and other documents that can shed light on your spending. Create and stick to a budget.
At the end of each month, calculate what you have spent that month on household bills, living costs, travel and leisure, as well as on family and friends, the Money Advice Service urges.
Continue to track your spending
Once you have drawn up your first monthly budget, regularly refer back to it during the next month to help yourself in deciding where and what to spend.
As your circumstances change, so do could your finances. For example, you might be tempted to take out a new subscription to a magazine, your household bills could unexpectedly rise or your salary could increase. Hence, your budget should be reviewed monthly.
Look for opportunities where you could cut back
If you’ve noticed that your expenditure keeps brimming over your budget, investigate where you could make cutbacks. It could be a matter of making yourself a “packed lunch” at home instead of buying food, or abandoning your membership of a gym you no longer frequent.
Savings can even be made on big projects like home improvements. Findley Roofing & Building, for example, offers flexible finance options if you want a roofer in Washington, County Durham.
Pay off loans and credit cards
If you’ve already built up a worryingly large pile of debt on loans and credit cards, be selective about which debt you focus on paying off first. Initially, look at those debts charging the highest rate of interest, such as credit cards, store cards and personal loans from the bank.
All the same, though, on all of your credit cards and loans, make sure you keep paying at least the minimum amount as required by the terms of your agreements.
Remember to save money, too
This is wise even just to account for potential emergencies, such as boiler breakdowns or enforced absences from work.
Even if you want to save up for a major purchase, The Balance points out that delaying your gratification will give you time to compare prices or even evaluate whether you really need to make that purchase after all.
You can most effectively save by monthly placing some money into a savings account. Saving can even accumulate interest and, thus, earn even more money for you, says Lifehacker.