Research from the Money and Pensions Service reveals that more than one in three (36%) UK adults worry about their financial situation. With the cost of living increasing, it stands to reason that that percentage could continue to rise over the coming months and years. If you count yourself among that 36%, it may offer a degree of comfort to know that you’re not alone. However, if you’re struggling to make ends meet, the knowledge that plenty of others are in the same boat doesn’t offer much in the way of practical help. It can be tricky to know how to manage your finances, especially if you’ve never been great with money in the past. With that in mind, here are a few simple tips that you can follow which might help you to feel more in control of your economic situation.
One of the first things to get your finances in line is to define what it is you want to achieve. Is it about clearing your debts? Or, making sure that you have enough to pay the essential bills every month? Or getting to a point at which you can put aside a little money on a regular basis, ready for an emergency or a rainy day? Everyone’s situation is different, so it’s important to set targets that are relevant to you.
Take the time to sit down and trawl through your bank statements. It may feel like a tedious and laborious process but you might find that the end result will be worth it. Make a note of all your outgoings – including rent/mortgage, bills, fuel, food, etc., and tally that up. Next, record your incomings, likely to consist of your salary and any benefits that you may receive. With those two figures side by side, you’ll have a better idea of your situation.
During that process, you may realize there are some expenses on which you can cut back. For example, there may be cheaper supermarkets available or you might be able to cancel monthly subscriptions that you never use. As a one-off, they may seem like relatively small outgoings but, over the course of the year, they can add up to a sizeable sum. This is a great way to decrease spending and manage finances
If you’re looking into different financial products, such as savings accounts, mortgages, loans, or anything else, be sure to do your due diligence. Take the time to seek advice and build up a full understanding of the terms and conditions, otherwise, you risk getting saddled with a product that may lead you into a more perilous financial position.