Our outlook on something can shape our behaviour towards it — and money is no exception. Many of us have fixed ideas on cash and how to spend it. But luckily, changing your financial attitude isn’t hard — in fact, you can easily transform it. To do just that, why not follow these ten quick actions?
1. Get tech-savvy
Long gone are the days when checking your bank balance meant that you had to venture to the nearest cashpoint or log onto your computer. Today, you can access your accounts from pretty much anywhere, providing there’s Wi-Fi. So, why don’t you take advantage of this? There are heaps of banking apps available to help you make the most of your money. Head to an impartial site like the Money Advice Service to find the ideal one for you.
2. Create a cash flow
Want to stay on top of your money? Look no further than cash flow. Don’t let the name put you off — this is merely a way of organising your income and outgoings. Simply put these details, along with your bank balance, into an Excel spreadsheet to gain a clearer hold on your finances. The spreadsheet will calculate the difference between your incomings and expenses for you. Once your cash flow is all set up, you’ll be able to spend with greater peace of mind.
3. Change your habits
Ever heard the saying “old habits die hard”? Well, this doesn’t have to be true. To get the most of your money, you may want to transform yours. Your weekly supermarket shop? Why not head online to see if you could buy more for less elsewhere? Or you could change when you go to the supermarket, in order to reap bigger discounts. Reductions in most supermarkets are introduced after 7 pm — and take advantage of these
4. Always plan ahead
Managing money doesn’t have to be difficult. Budget as far ahead as possible, and you’ll be better prepared to face pretty much any financial situation. You can pinpoint days, weeks or months where you’ll be less well off than others, and vice versa. As a result, you’ll be able to adapt your budget to suit any likely changes in your balance.
5. Budget daily
A budget can be a highly effective saving method, but only if followed properly. Create one that spans a wide length of time – say, a month – and you’ll be less likely to stick to it. Build a plan for each day. As your saving target will be smaller than it would be with a month-long budget, it will be far easier to achieve. Though it may seem tricky at first, within a few weeks, you’ll be able to finish this task in minutes, leaving you with a more straightforward spending schedule.
6. Don’t be afraid to ask for help
Feel like you could benefit from some financial assistance? Maybe you’re looking for advice? Or perhaps you’d like to explore alternative funding options. Whatever form of help is required, it isn’t a sign of weakness to ask for it. Actually, it is a brave thing to do.
7. Cut back on luxuries
Take-out drinks. Expensive dinners. Spa massages. Let’s be honest, none of these are essentials, they’re luxuries. Though it can be fun to treat ourselves, it tends to eat into our pockets. Therefore, you could do worse than cut back on them. That doesn’t mean you have to live a spartan existence and abandon nice things altogether. Just consider ditching your more costly regular activities.
8. Enjoy free activities
You can enjoy yourself at no cost whatsoever. How about swapping your weekly exercise class for a YouTube video? Or you could head online to find out about free cultural events in your area — select something nearby, and you’ll be able to cut out transport costs. You may even find that a walk around your local park or green area is just as relaxing as a spa day.
9. Embrace investment
Despite the potential payoff, the British are nervous about financial investment. Why? Most experts put it down to the UK’s slow economic growth within the past decade, while a steep rise in house prices often deters many young people from taking out mortgages. Although both factors can influence the outcome of an investment, they don’t have to dictate it. So long as it’s considered carefully, an investment can have a hugely positive financial impact. If you’re still uneasy about entering one, you could always seek advice from either the Citizens Advice Bureau or an FCA-approved financial advisor.
10. Keep an eye on your credit score
When was the last time you checked your credit score? It’s important to keep track of it. If you’ve never assessed yours, don’t worry. A credit record is what creditors use to determine whether you should receive credit or not. If your score is good, you’ll be more likely to receive the loan, credit card or other forms of credit that you’ve applied for. Pay all your bills on time and monitor your finances, and you can easily achieve this. Visit a Credit Reference Agencies (CRA) to access yours today – doing so won’t affect your score in any way.
Once you know-how, it doesn’t take long to change your financial outlook. Follow these actions, and you could transform yours in no time at all.