The Ultimate Guide To Getting Your Personal Finances In Check In 2015
Some people ignore their personal finances for a matter of years. Ignorance is bliss, but at some point your poor budgeting will catch up with you.
When it does, you will find that you are in a whole lot more debt than you expected. Sorting out your personal finances might sound like an impossible feat, but you can do it. With a little determination and hard work, almost anything is possible. You have already taken the first step by clicking on this post. Read this guide, and you should have no problems getting your finances in check.
Go through your bank statements
The first step will be a painful one. You know all those bank statements you are avoiding? Well, it is time to take a good old look at them. You need to understand where your cash is going every month. That way, you can figure out ways in which you can save. Look at your bank statements and see where you are making the most payments. Sometimes, the first thing you need to do is face up to your spending habits. Only then, can you start to tackle them correctly.
Get rid of your credit cards
Credit card debt is the worst thing that can happen to your finances. If you have to pay money to your lenders every month, you might find it tricky to keep your head above water. What you need to do is start tackling the problem in a direct way. If you are just paying off the interest every month, that needs to stop. Work out a budget and do your best to stick to it. Each month, you need to aim to reduce your debt.
Chase up your taxes
If you don’t know what your tax situation is, it is time to find out. At the start of the year, people often get tax letters to say that they owe money or that HMRC owes them money. You need to stay on top of what all this means. You can call a dedicated tax line and find out what your situation is. That way, you will know whether you can get any extra money from your taxes. If you can, it could be a massive help to your personal finances.
Make that claim
If you have had an accident, you could claim compensation. Sometimes, when people sustain an injury, they need to take time off work. If having time off is the reason for your financial troubles, you could make a claim against someone. Sometimes, people worry too much about the expense of attempting to claim compensation. Most lawyers will work on a ‘no win, no fee’ basis. That means that if you don’t get any money by way of compensation, you don’t have to pay the lawyer at all.
Figure out a payment plan
If you have loads of debts hanging over your head, you need to start making a viable plan of action. You will not be able to wipe out your debts at once. Thinking that you can get rid of all your problems in one go is naive. Instead, you need to be realistic about what you can afford to pay back to various lenders. If you owe many different companies money, you may need to combine your loans. That means that one company pays off all your debts for you, and you start making repayments to them. If you know what you have to pay each month, you will find your debt easy to handle.
Start keeping a financial record
If you want to be proactive when it comes to sorting out your finances, you should keep a record. You can buy a cheap diary from stationery shops or online. Once you have a journal, you can start noting down everything you spend in a day. It will surprise you how much cash you waste on stupid things. For example, if you buy a coffee in the morning, you might not even register how much it costs. On average a takeout coffee costs two pounds. If you do that every morning, you are wasting ten pounds a week.
Check your interest rates
Do you have savings? If you do, it is crucial that you know what interest rates you get on them. For example, if you keep your cash in a traditional saving account, you will only get a low level of interest. That means that you will not make much money on your savings. Instead, you might want to consider putting your money into an ISA so that you can get a fixed rate of interest. Most ISAs give you around 1.5% interest, which means that for every £100 you save, you get £1.50 back from the bank.
Get loyalty cards (and use them)
If you always shop at the same place, it makes sense to get a loyalty card. There are loads of reward cards out there, yet few people seem to use them. Some cards will give you a discount when you go shopping. For example, you might get an extra 5% off your total spend. Other cards help you to collect points. That means that the more you spend, the more you can save in the future. You should make sure that you sign up for as many loyalty cards as possible and remember to use them.
Get rid of pointless payments
If you are paying for things that you don’t need, you should stop right now. For example, if you pay a subscription to a gym, but never go, you should cancel your membership. There is no point wasting money on expenses that you don’t need to pay. Look at all your monthly outgoings. Do you need to pay for everything? If there are particular things, which you could do without, you should stop paying for them. That way, you can save yourself a load of cash, in the long run.
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