If you’re trying to figure out your finances, you might not know where to start. Unfortunately, working out what exactly your credit score is and what that means has never been something taught in schools. As a result, many people are at a loss when it comes to the simple basics of finance. That means that financing your car and getting a mortgage are concepts that might feel entirely out of your reach. However, if you’ve got into a financial mess, there are things you can do to work it all out.
Cut Out What You Don’t Need
First of all, it’s time to cut out all your non-essentials. The everyday expenditures that you don’t think about are probably making a huge hole in your bank account. Do you really need to buy that coffee from Starbucks every day? Could it be cheaper to make your lunch to take to work instead of buying a sandwich? Make a list of all the money you spend each day, and you might be shocked at how much you can save if you just cut a few simple factors out. If you have an expensive gym membership, why not take up running instead or do yoga at home? Make sure that you still enjoy your life, but be aware that you don’t need to spend a lot of money to do so.
Start to Budget
Making and sticking to a budget is key if you want to start saving money and increasing your bank balance. Make sure that you’re aware of all your monthly expenses, from your phone bill to your car insurance, and figure out exactly how much you have left over. If you see everything that you spend written down, what you can cut out will become a whole lot clearer. Make sure that you also don’t spend money in stores on things that you won’t use. If shampoo is on sale, but you won’t use it then don’t waste money on it.
A great way to save money is to start shopping around to find out exactly what deals are out there. Whether you compare prices at all your local grocery stores or you change your energy provider, chances are, somewhere along the lines you’re paying too much for something. Look out for coupons—the time you spend clipping them and downloading them will feel worth it when you get to save huge amounts of money when you buy your essentials. A lot of the time, various companies will jump at the chance to undercut each other.
Pay Your Bills Immediately
Paying your bills when you get them is a great way to save some cash. If you put them to one side, then you might forget about them, which could mean that you’ll have to pay extra interest on them. Chart Westcott, the Co-Founder and Chief Operating Officer at Ikarian Capital, LLC says, “Immediately paying bills could help you stay organized.” It’ll also mean that you won’t end up with multiple bills to pay all at the same time at the end of the month. Knowing that you’re up to date with your money will also be great for your peace of mind.
Try to Save
Although it can be difficult to put any money at all aside when you’re financially struggling, it’s important to do your best to save so that you have a treasure trove of money safe in your bank account for a rainy day. You never know when your car might break down or you might have to invest in a new boiler or your bathroom might suddenly flood, so you need to get prepared for whatever might lie ahead. “Having savings will cushion you from whatever might happen in the future,” says Chart Westcott. Savings also help you to take chances that will help you in the long run. If you’re wondering how exactly to save, why not put all your loose change into a pot and watch as it adds up? You could also set up a direct debit so that part of your wages goes into a savings account every month.
Saving money and improving your bank balance isn’t as hard as you might think. These easy tips will help you through the hardest of financial times.