Frightened by Your Finances? Take Control TodayThursday, March 16, 2017
Ask anyone what causes them the most stress on a daily basis, and you're pretty much guaranteed that they will reply 'money.' We live in a society which is completely obsessed with money, and you could even argue that we are slaves to it sometimes. Of course, the world needs money to help it operate in a safe and legal way. But that doesn't mean that it doesn't cause problems too. Sure, we may earn more these days than our parents did thirty or forty years ago, but everything costs more as well - from your weekly groceries to the price of a family home. With that in mind, being frivolous with your spending can often lead you and your family into a sticky financial situation, which is the last thing any of us want. If you have trouble staying in control of your finances, here are a few ways you can get back in the driver's seat and regain control of the money you earn.
Swap Plastic For Paper
Ever since credit and debit cards were first invented, they have revolutionized the way in which we deal with money. Having all your money stored on a little piece of plastic sure is handy, and saves a lot of room in your purse! But could it also be putting you at a disadvantage too? When we spend money on a credit card, we don't physically see the money we're spending leaving our purse - therefore for some of us, it doesn't seem real. It can be easy to get a little swipe happy when using a card, and many people only realize the extent of their spending when they see their bank statement (by which time it's too late). Consider instead taking physical money out of your account every week, and making it your mission to make that money last the whole week. When you can see the money in front of your very eyes, you will be much less tempted to splash it on things you don't need.
Get Some Professional Advice
Some of us do end up running our finances into the ground, and when this happens, we can go into debt. Over 8 million people in the UK are in some form of problematic debt, so it's easier to get into than you might think. If you owe more than you currently earn, it may be time to speak to someone who is an expert in this field, such as the team at moneyexpert.com. These kinds of professionals will be able to help you map out a debt management plan, which consolidates your debt into manageable monthly repayments. This way, you can pay off your debts in a way that doesn't overly compromise on your family's quality of life, and you can look forward to a time shortly when you will be comfortable 'debt free.'
Use Online Banking
No matter who you bank with, chances are that they now offer an online or mobile banking feature. Online banking can be a great way to help you track your spending on a daily basis, as well as keeping on top of any direct debits and standing orders you may have. Rather than having to physically visit your bank to get a statement, or get one in the post, you can log on anytime, anywhere, and see all your account detail clear as day. If you are having trouble using your bank's mobile site, why not try downloading their app instead?
Track Your Expenditure in a Spreadsheet
Feeling out of control with your finances can be horrible, as it can result in emotions like anxiety and panic. If you want to be clear at all times of how much money you have and what your outgoings are, consider setting up a financial spreadsheet on your computer. You can either download a template from the Internet, or you can design your own in a way that works best for you. On a similar note, it is also up to you whether you organize it on a week by week basis, or if you consolidate everything into months. Whatever you go for, it can be a great way to get an at-a-glance view of everything that's going on in your financial world. When you're on top of your finances it's easier to save for the things that do really matter (family holiday anyone?) so make these changes today, and you could be on your way to a happier financial life.