According to Financial Capability UK, over 20 million UK adults do not feel confident managing their own money – and over 11 million have less than £100 in savings. Personal finance can be a terrifying thing to engage with, especially if it feels like a futile endeavour – but a few simple changes can drastically improve your financial situation, and have you on your way to fiscal stability.
Budgeting is Key
Creating a budget is always the first step you should take on the road to improving your finances. Without knowing your exact financial situation, you cannot make the requisite changes in an informed and conscious manner – and those measures may not be enough to meaningfully change your situation. Set aside an afternoon to sit down and go through your bank statements, credit cards, and loans. What are your monthly outgoings for rent or mortgage, utilities, repayments and subscriptions? And how much do you have coming in monthly. Subtracting one from the other gives you your net income before variable costs such as food and entertainment or leisure, and a snapshot of where you are with your money, and how much you can theoretically afford to save in a given month.
Cutting the Chaff
In order to increase your net income, you might first want to consider reducing your monthly costs. Shopping around for better deals on utilities is always a good idea, as rising prices and competition mean there will always be a way for you to save. Don’t be afraid to be ruthless about this as well; any non-essential subscriptions can be discontinued, and the amount of money it can free up for you can be surprising. If you are subscribed to several streaming services, consider cancelling all but one or two; you might not miss Disney+ as much as you think, and you might find yourself with more time to fix your finances to boot.
Starting a Side-Business
You might be keen to get rid of debts faster than pruning your monthly costs will allow – or you might have loftier goals for savings and early retirement. If this is the case, step things up a gear and think about ways in which you can actively create more income for yourself. It’s easier than ever to work for yourself in your spare time: a revolution in online sales means you can start up your own drop-shipping business, without worrying about inventory costs or space. If you’re a creative type, freelance work is available on a variety of platforms – and if you’re more investments-minded, you can use a reliable broker like Tickmill.com to generate wealth on the stock market in your free time.
If you find yourself struggling with creativity or initiative with regard to getting on top of your personal finances, you could instead look for inspiration from others. There are many excellent books on personal finances, with their own lessons and tips, written by professionals in the field – and it might take just one nugget of wisdom from someone else to give you the edge you need.