Most people worry about their finances at some point. Unfortunately, we don’t always learn how to manage our finances appropriately, and it’s all too easy to go a little bit wild when we first start making our own money (which can be a tough habit to get out of). Let’s take a look at 13 things that could potentially give you peace of mind if you’re worried about your finances.
1. Use Cashback Sites Whenever You Shop Online
Most of us shop online, especially now we’re in the midst of a pandemic. Online shopping can be quicker, easier, and safer than shopping in person and it also gives us the chance to make sure we’re getting the very best deal. However, you could still be wasting money if you’re not looking for coupons and using cashback sites whenever you shop online. Cashback sites give you a percentage back of your purchase – it can take a while to clear, but it’s worth letting it build up in your account and checking it at the end of the year. Downloading coupon checkers to your browser can make it far easier to get the best deal when shopping online, too.
2. Swap Your Utility Suppliers every Year
Don’t assume you’re getting the best deal from your utility supplier if you’ve never swapped or challenged them on the deal they are giving you. See if you can find a better auto insurance broker and bring this up with your current provider. If they don’t match the deal, then move. The moving process is easy, and most of the time, your new chosen supplier will take care of it all for you. Checking for better deals before the end of your contract each year won’t take long, and you’ll make sure you’re never paying more than you need to.
3. Speak To A Financial Advisor
If you’re unsure on how you can improve or you’re worried about debt, speak to a financial advisor. They’ll be able to look at your situation objectively and give you ways to improve and get to where you want to be.
4. Come Up With A Strategy To Pay Off Your Debts
If you’ve got debts, come up with a strategy to pay them off. This is something that a financial advisor can help you with if you need it, but you can find strategies to inspire you online, too. For example, some people prefer to pay off small debts first so they can build up momentum. Others prefer to make a dent in large debts to bring down their interest. It’s all about knowing what will motivate you best. Figure out how much you can realistically afford to put towards your debts based on what you earn and commit to paying it off. Give yourself a set date to have paid a particular debt off by and keep that in mind whenever you get paid.
5. Make Saving Automatic
Some people find it hard to save, but it’s so easy to make your savings automatic. If you set up a direct debit to your savings account, you won’t even need to think about it and you can just treat it like one of your bills.
6. Create An Emergency Fund
An emergency fund is one of the savings accounts you should have. This should only ever be used for real emergencies, such as broken appliances, repairs, and to keep you going should you lose your job or end up taking a pay cut. Many experts recommend saving 3-6 months of living expenses minimum. However, putting away $1000 will mean having more in an emergency fund than most people.
7. Invest A Little
Investing is one of the best ways to build wealth for the future. You don’t see the returns right away, and of course, all of the money you invest comes with a level of risk. Start small, but start as soon as possible so you can make the most of compound interest. You can even buy apps to do this for you if you’re confused.
8. Open A High Interest Account
You aren’t going to become a millionaire by putting money in a savings account (don’t forget that savings depreciate over time). However, you can make more money by opening a high interest savings account, putting away as much as the account allows, and then leaving it alone.
9. Track Everything You Spend
Tracking everything you spend can give you a much better idea of where you can improve. What are you spending most of your money on? Track even small purchases so you have a better idea of where the money is going. You can do this easily using the notes app on your phone, but some apps will link with your bank and do this for you.
10. Figure Out A Budget
If you don’t have a budget, now is the time to create one. How much do you want to spend on food, entertainment, and other things? Don’t let this be guesswork. Knowing your numbers and allocating money to each aspect of your life can ensure you live within your means.
11. Go Cash Only
Some people find it useful to commit to a cash only lifestyle. Card spending is easy, as we don’t really need to think about the cash we hand over. Cash only can encourage us to think more carefully about what we’re buying.
12. Make Money With What You’ve Got
Are there ways you can make money with what you’ve got? You could potentially rent out a room in your house, or even your driveway. Could you utilize a skill you have to make more money? Maybe you could even approach your boss and ask for a raise. Consider all the ways you could bump up your income and explore them one by one as they appeal to you.
13. Keep On Learning About Money
Keep on learning about money. Follow YouTube accounts, Instagram accounts, buy books, and aim to consume content regularly. Even if you read one financial book a month, it will make a huge difference over the course of one year!