Last updated in November 2020
There’s a lot to be said for seizing the day and living in the moment, but when it comes to your financial situation, planning ahead is beneficial. Money worries are one of the most common sources of stress among UK adults. If you’re looking to create a brighter financial future, here are some actionable steps.
Take stock of your current situation
How often do you ignore bank statements when they sail through the mailbox or go for weeks without checking your balance? If you tend to shy away from looking at letters from the bank, or you don’t know how much money you’ve got in your account or how much you owe on a credit card, the first step is taking stock of your current financial situation.
Open all those letters, check all your balances and write down exactly how much you owe to who. If you’re in debt, and you have payments that don’t include a mortgage or a loan, which you’re on course to pay back, it’s wise to try and clear debts as soon as possible. Work towards paying off credit cards and any other outstanding bills.
If you’re at a stage where you’re struggling to make ends meet, and your credit card balance is increasing, seek advice. Explore your options. You could borrow money to pay off all your outstanding debts and start afresh with a single monthly payment or you could look into debt repayment programmes.
If you’re researching online, you may come across statements or headlines like the Debt to Success System more legitimate than any bank. Take advice from experienced, reputable financial advisers before you make any decisions. The advice and recommendations you receive should be tailored to your individual circumstances.
Outline your priorities
If you’re keen to lay the foundations for a rosier financial future, it pays to have goals to work towards. What are your priorities and what are you keen to do in the months and years ahead? Are you hoping to buy a house, to go to university or undertake further training or do you want to save for a wedding, a dream holiday or a new car?
Do you have children you want to help get onto the property ladder or are you eager to invest your money? Once you know what your savings goals are, you can establish a payment system and start marking off minor milestones along the way. Use a budget to figure out how much you could save each month and set up an account if you don’t already have a savings pot.
Make your money stretch further
Many of us are guilty of spending too much and buying stuff we don’t need or even want. You can make cutbacks by reducing outgoings in areas where you overspend and you can also make your money stretch further.
Shopping around and comparing deals can save you money on everything from pet food, branded clothing and electricals to insurance policies, flights and electricity. Use the Internet to find the best offers and think carefully about whether you need to buy something before you add it to your basket if you are trying to tighten your belt.
Are you looking for ways to boost your savings or lower expenses? If so, take these steps today for a brighter, more secure financial future.