When it comes to managing our finances, many of us are guilty of burying our heads in the sand. We know that we could manage our money a little better, that we could probably make it go further, and that if we’re totally honest with ourselves, we didn’t really need to buy that extra pair of shoes.
However much you might dislike keeping on top of your accounts though and making wiser money choices, there’s no denying that it’s something that could give us much greater peace of mind. It doesn’t have to be a gigantic task that you dread, and you certainly shouldn’t put it off for any longer.
Here are three practical ways that you can improve your finances today – even if you’re really busy and have no idea where to start!
Map out a realistic budget
Creating a budget may seem like such a common sense piece of advice, but let me ask you a question… Is it something that you’re already doing? More often than not, it’s one of those things that people know they should do, but never seem to get round to. So sit down with a pen and paper, and get the facts in front of you. How much do you have coming in each month, and how much are you typically spending? Are these figures compatible, or do you have a problem on your hands?
Ignoring the fact that you’re regularly spending more than you earn won’t make the problem go away. It happens to plenty of us from time to time, but if you can see it coming, you’re in a better position to plan for it. Taking out a quick loan could help you, for example, as long as you consider the repayments.
Start a savings pot
Would you be able to cope financially if you had an unexpected bill? What if your boiler broke? Or you had to take some unpaid leave from your place of work? These are things that we don’t expect to happen to us, but they can. Starting a savings pot will give you a buffer for the worst case scenario, and ensure that you have a better plan for the future.
Even if you have just a tiny sum to put aside each month, it can make a big difference in the longer term. If you need some inspiration on where to begin and what you really need to know, check out this complete beginner’s guide to saving money.
Consider starting a side hustle in your spare time
Research shows that 40% of UK workers have a side hustle, thanks to day jobs becoming increasingly insecure. If you’re a glass-half-empty type, then you could see this is a worrying reflection of the state of employment. But why not flip it on its head and recognise the huge opportunity that exists here?
Thanks to advances in modern technology, it’s never been easier or more financially affordable to start a small business from home. You could build a blog, create an eBay store, or offer your time as a freelancer. The possibilities are endless, and you could see yourself earning a great chunk of extra money each month that could really help you to get on top of your finances once and for all.
If you know that you need to manage your money better, why not commit to trying out this advice today?