Honestly, there is no simple answer to this question. We’ve not yet discovered a one-size-fits-all solution when it comes to managing money. But there are a few techniques you can use to better understand your finances, and you can always find additional information online.
Create a Budget
It may sound pretty basic, but if you want to get a handle on your finances, for most people, this means creating a budget. There are a lucky few that don’t need to worry about how much they’re spending, as it will always be a fraction of their income. But for the rest of us, it’s important to consider the amount coming in, and how much we spend in our household.
How strict your budget will need to be will depend on how much disposable income you have. Or how much you enjoy tracking your spending. Or perhaps your love of spreadsheets.
There are plenty of online options for creating a budget. The Money Advice Service have a handy budget planner you can use for free, and StepChange offer advice as well as a free template when it comes to budgeting. There are also a number of banks and apps that allow you to track your spending. One of the best examples of this is Monzo, a completely online bank that lets you budget within your bank account, by separating your money into ‘pots’. Monzo also helps you start saving – you can round up your purchases to the nearest pound, and the extra pennies are automatically transferred into your savings pot.
Research Your Borrowing Options
When you’re looking to take out credit, whether it be a short term loan or a mortgage, it’s essential to carefully consider your options. For larger loans in particular, the interest rate can make a huge difference to how much you’ll be repaying overall.
If you’d rather not spend hours researching, it can be a good idea to use a comparison site or a broker. Just make sure you won’t be charged a massive fee for using their services – not all broker sites are like My Financial Broker, offering a free service to customers.
Try to Save
This is not always that easy. But no matter how much you earn, it’s not impossible either. And once you get into the habit of saving, you’ll be able to put away enough money to spend on something exciting, like a holiday or a new car.
If you’re able to invest your savings in a higher interest account than a traditional bank, this can also make a big difference. You can find out more about savings options, such as ISAs and Peer-to-Peer lending through our blog.
- Creating a budget is one of the best ways to start managing your money
- It’s important to do a little research before borrowing, or let a comparison site or broker compare the rates for you
- Saving money isn’t always simple, but once you get into the habit, it’s amazing how much you can put away. Investing your savings can also be a good option
Don’t be scared to seek advice if you want to know more about finance, or if you need help creating a budget. There are plenty of free and impartial services you can use
Seek Advice if Needed
Finances and budget planning don’t come easily to everyone. For a lot of people, finding ways to manage money becomes a chore. So if you’re struggling to create a sustainable budget, or if you simply want expert advice, there are a number of organisations that can offer free help and support. The Citizens Advice Bureau are often a good place to start – they can not only help you create a budget, they can also speak with your creditors on your behalf, to assist you in setting up plans.
Overall, there is unfortunately no perfect answer when it comes to managing your money. It will depend on your individual circumstances, such as how much you earn, and your spending habits. But if you’re ever in doubt, you can always find useful information online, or by contacting an independent third party.