In our modern age, managing your finances has never been simultaneously easier and more difficult. There are a range of tools, technologies, and experts out there that can tell you exactly where you’re going wrong and what you could be doing better, but in the end, it’s up to you to implement their advice and work on becoming more financially healthy. Don’t worry, though; we’re here to help in this regard. Here are 10 top tips for managing your money more efficiently.
1. Seek Help
First and foremost, if you feel that your money troubles are becoming insurmountable, you should never be ashamed or afraid to seek professional help. If things are bad enough, make sure to talk to a real, live professional and not just an app or a bot. Only a qualified financial advisor can really understand your finances on a deep level, so make sure you’re never too proud to ask for assistance if you feel like everything is getting on top of you.
2. Look To Loans
Many people don’t realise the potential power of loans when it comes to boosting your financial health. Loans can improve your credit score, give you the short-term financial boost you need to get out of your troubles, and even give you more confidence to apply for further help. Any amount, from a £500 loan all the way through to a 2500 loan, could be helpful for you depending on your circumstances, so don’t sleep on this option for boosting your finances.
3. Withdraw Cash
By withdrawing cash, you’re seeing a more concrete, physical representation of your money. This can help you to spend less; if you’re not viewing money as an abstract but as a real absolute, then you’ll be more aware of its worth. Simply swiping a card across a machine doesn’t have the same impact as handing a piece of paper or metal over to someone else, so if you want to keep better track of your money and your transactions, withdraw cash.
4. Buy Store Brand Alternatives
This is one of the simplest and yet most effective strategies there is for managing your money better. If you still haven’t learned to let go of your branded shop, then it might be time to do so now. Supermarket or grocery-store alternatives often taste just as good as (or even better than) the branded version you’re used to buying, and that goes double for non-food products like medicines or tools. Next time you’re at the supermarket, try buying something a little less recognisable. You won’t regret it!
5. Start Budgeting Now
It’s no good telling yourself that you’ll start budgeting next week, or when payday rolls around, or on some other date that’s conveniently a little too far in the future to really begin planning. If you want to boost your financial health, then one of the best ways to do that is to begin building a budget right now. That means taking thorough, honest stock of your spending and being genuine with yourself about how it could improve and what you could cut out.
6. Cook More Home-Cooked Meals
Studies have shown that around 25% of UK adults eat takeaway at least once a week. As you can imagine, with the rising cost of food, that’s likely to have a significant impact on your budget, so this is an excellent way to cut back on your spending. Instead of ordering takeaway, try cooking a home-cooked version of the meal you would have ordered; make yourself a curry or a chow mein instead of ordering one, for example, and you could save a lot.
7. Cycle Or Walk More
Both cycling and walking are, by their natures, significantly cheaper than catching public transport or driving your own car to your destination. There may well be several destinations that you don’t need to ride a bus or a train to; you could just as easily walk or cycle and reach them within a reasonable time frame. Doing this will also boost your health and make you feel fitter and healthier, so this is a goal well worth pursuing for more than just financial reasons.
8. Pick Up A Second Source Of Income
You may not want to work a second job on top of your first one, but the fact remains that it can be a good way to manage your money simply by virtue of giving you more of it to manage. If you do decide to pick up a “side hustle”, as they call it, try to make sure that it isn’t something too demanding or discouraging. The last thing you want is for your side hustle to become just as debilitating and financially troublesome as the situation that brought you to difficulties in the first place.
9. Create A Solid Plan With Goals
It’s one thing to make a strict budget, but it’s quite another to create a financial plan. This means having an idea of how you’re going to spend your money over days, weeks, and months, and what kind of long-term goal you’re working towards. This goal can be relatively nebulous; it could, for example, simply be that you want to free yourself of debt, or pay for a child’s education, for example. These are fine and noble goals, and as long as you’re working towards them in some capacity, you’re following a plan.
10. Try To Put Some Savings Away
For many, the phrase “try to put some savings away” will be met by the counterargument “that’s easier said than done”. Those people are very much right, but if you are capable of putting savings away each month, then you’re squandering a potentially significant sum of money later down the line. You don’t need to save a large percentage of your income; just putting away even 2.5% of what you earn each month can make a surprisingly big difference.