With the economy upside down, so are many people’s bank accounts. If you are willing to take a grip of it, it can easily be turned around. Managing your money is all about living within your means, defining budgets and spending plans and sticking to it. We take a look at some of the things you can do to better manage your finances and stay in the black!
Credit cards are great if you pay them off in full each month, otherwise you are likely to be charged large amounts of interest. If you already have credit cards with a balance on them look at getting yourself a balance transfer card to give you some ‘interest free’ time. Then setup a monthly standing order for an affordable amount, which will get the card paid off before the interest free deal ends.
Avoid Store Cards
These really will put you into massive debt if not managed effectively. They are advertised to save you money on purchases in store but, like a credit card, if they aren’t settled in full each month the interest rates are sky high. Stores claim you need to go through a credit check in order to get one, but this is more than ‘lenient’.
Budget, Budget, Budget!
What a lot forget to do is budget. The best thing you can do is sit down and right down a list of your entire monthly and annual expenditure, this includes all of your bills, food budgets, fuel and savings; then every month make sure you put aside enough to cover it all. What a lot of people do is have a second account purely for managing obligations such as bills and food etc. then whatever is left in the current account is free to be spent on whatever they want.
Overdrafts should only be used as a buffer for any unexpected payments in a month. They should not be used or perceived as additional cash. If you go into your overdraft, make sure you cover the difference with next month’s pay cheque.
Keep an Eye on Things
Get into a habit of checking your bank account every day. With cards used to pay for everything these days we don’t get a real feel for what we spend; checking your account every day, and seeing the money leave it, will be the realization you need to help control your spending.