Personal finance is always a tricky topic to discuss. People guard their finances and are never willing to disclose their financial situation. As a society, we have learnt that it is rude to talk to people about their money problems. As such, we never discuss the important topic of taking control of our finances. That in itself means that many people feel confused about where to start when it comes to looking after their money. No matter what your money situation, you should make a point of taking control. Here is your five-step guide to help you do just that.
Step 1: Get Internet Banking
How often do you look at your bank statements? As a culture, we often avoid bad news, and so you may not check your statements at all. So that you can take control of your finances, you need to know what they are. Getting internet banking will mean that you can look at your bank account each day. It might sound like a chore, but checking how much money you have and knowing what you can and can’t spend will make all the difference. Many banks now have apps, so that you can look at your account using a tablet or smartphone.
Step 2: Check Your Monthly Outgoings
Once you have got internet banking, it is time to delve a little deeper into your spending. You will likely have plenty of direct debits going out every month, but do you need them all? Perhaps you pay a gym subscription, but never go training. You can cancel that direct debit and save yourself money every single month. Take a couple of hours to go through your outgoings and see where you can cut back.
Step 3: See Whether You’re Owed Money
Does someone owe you money? If you are waiting for an employer to pay you for some work or think someone owes you money then, it’s time to do something about it. Contact financial solicitors, who will be able to help you with your claim. Often people ignore the fact that others owe them money. You might think it is easier to let it go and move on with your life. In fact, filing a claim against another party is simple and could mean that you get a lump sum of cash. Look into your legal rights and see where you can claim back money.
Step 4: Increase Your Income
If money is tight and you’ve done all you can, you may need to increase your income. There are plenty of ways you can make extra cash. Why not consider getting a second job or taking on more responsibility at your current workplace? Doing so will make you a steady extra income so that you have more cash to spend. You could also try selling things online. For example, if you have many unwanted clothes, you could sell them on eBay and make a quick profit.
Step 5: Take Control Of Your Spending Habits
Do you spend money out of boredom? Much of the time when we go shopping or spend money on going out, it is because we have nothing better to do with our time. Look at your bank account and see where you are spending the most cash. So that you can change your spending habits, you will need to change your relationship to money. Money does not bring happiness. Going out and spending a fortune will give you a short-term buzz but could cripple your finances in the long-term. Find free or cheap activities to keep you busy during the week. Join an after-work class or start going for long walks. You don’t need to spend a lot of money to have fun.