Pretty much all of us could be managing our finances more effectively. Whether it’s making more savvy spending decisions to cut back on our expenses or being smarter with our long-term investments and savings, your financial health is almost certainly in need of improvement, and that’s not a criticism; this kind of information isn’t widely taught in schools, after all. There’s always something you can do to improve your financial management system, so let’s take a look at some of the tips and tricks that will help you do just that!
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Take out a loan
It might sound counterintuitive, but taking out a loan can actually help you to manage your money better. If you’ve never taken out personal loans and quick loans before, you may not know how to make prompt repayments, so taking out a loan could be a great way of learning a little more financial responsibility and timeliness. In addition, if you have a poor credit rating but you’re financially solvent, taking out a loan can actually improve your credit rating and help you to get more loans in the future.
Download a financial app
Whether you’re on an Android phone or an iPhone, there are tons of financial management apps out there that can take care of your finances for you. It’s important to download one of these apps if you’re looking to optimise your spending; they’ll break down your financial information in easy-to-understand ways, recommend places where your spending could improve, and generally help you to be more financially aware. Apps like Money Dashboard and Snoop are good places to start.
Create a budget
Making a budget is one of the most fundamental building blocks of improving your finances. Without creating a budget, it can be hard to know where your finances stand and where you should be making improvements. Start by gathering all of your bank statements, recent receipts, paychecks, and other financial information together and examining it en masse. From there, slowly assemble a picture of what your finances look like and where you might be able to make improvements.
One of the biggest problems that leads to poor financial management is impulse spending. This is when you’re out shopping and you suddenly decide to buy something, regardless of whether you really need it or whether it’s what you came for. Impulse spending can make us spend money without even realising we’re doing so, which is why it’s important to try and adopt a mindful spending policy. Make sure you’re paying close attention each and every time you spend money, and think through every purchase.
Look for deals and bargains
Shops constantly hold sales and offer deals to make products more enticing to consumers. It’s important to be on the lookout for those deals as often as you can; deals and bargains are usually a good way to save money while still being able to afford the stuff you want. Make sure you’re not being hoodwinked, though; some deals may look appealing on the service, but a cursory examination reveals they’re just designed to get you to spend more money.
Make small changes
Making big changes to your financial systems can feel overwhelming and difficult, so try to make smaller changes. Swap out one grocery product for its store-brand alternative at a time, and try it for a week to see if you like it. Making big changes suddenly is a surefire way to increase your chances of bouncing back into old habits, while doing so gradually can help you acclimatise and attune to your new behaviours. Don’t do anything rash or drastic, especially early on in your financial improvement journey.
Cut back on subscriptions
We live in what might as well be called a subscription-based economy. Near enough every service asks you to subscribe on a regular basis now; few things are provided via one-off payments anymore. With that in mind, your bank account is likely to have some forgotten subscriptions lurking; perhaps you’ve forgotten to cancel after a 30-day trial, for instance, or maybe you took advantage of an offer and the small print was too obscure to read. In any case, combing your bank account for unwanted subscriptions is something you should do regularly.
Ask friends and family for help
If you know that you find it difficult to make financial changes on your own, then don’t be afraid to enlist the help of loved ones to make it easier for yourself. If your friends and family love you, then they’ll want to make sure you don’t make any foolish or rash decisions, and helping you to change your spending habits is a great way to do that. Keep them on hand every time you think you’re about to make a bad decision, and give them a call or text them to see what their advice might be.
Ask for professional help
If asking friends and family for help has proven fruitless and you aren’t seeing any benefits from downloading financial apps, then there’s no shame whatsoever in seeking long-term professional financial help. Financial advisers live and breathe money; they’ll be able to take a look at your accounts and help you to make better decisions. Bear in mind that a financial planner will, of course, cost money, so this is only a good option if you’re not struggling to pay your bills or your rent.