As a consumer in modern society, it’s more important than ever to stay on top of your finances. With so many competing pressures on household budgets and a seemingly never-ending list of firms looking for your cash, you need every piece of help that you can get to stay financially savvy. Here are some top tips, then, for achieving just that goal.
Learn about finance
It’s, unfortunately, the case that many financial service providers – such as banks and mortgage lenders – take advantage of those who don’t know much about the ways that their products work. It’s often the case, for example, that consumers are on the highest possible mortgage interest rates – even though finding a new deal is possible.
By becoming more knowledgeable as to how finance works, you’ll be able to arm yourself with information and make wise decisions. Once you’ve learned all that scary-looking terminology on your mortgage provider’s website, for example, you’ll be able to analyse all the different offers with ease. Ultimately this will save you some money on your monthly budget. There are many resources available on the internet, and sites such as Money Saving Expert can often provide answers to some of the questions you may have.
For those who want to take this a step further, studying finance in some way – even at a low level – can be invaluable. The accountancy foundation courses from LSBF are good options to consider. There may also be an adult education provider in your local area that delivers budgeting and basic bookkeeping lessons. Whatever type of education you go for, these are the sorts of skills that will stand you in good stead for life.
Practice your insights
Knowledge is nothing without putting what you discover into practice, though. Once you’ve grasped the basics of profit and loss and balancing your expenditure, it’s important to then live your life in this way to keep on top of your personal finances. From putting aside some money each month in order to save up, to ensuring that you turn the lights off when not in use, there are lots of steps that you can take.
Avoiding many types of debt is also a good move. Some debts, such as mortgages, are worthwhile lifetime investments as they mean that you won’t have to pay rent or other home-related charges once you’ve finished the repayments. However, other types of debt, such as credit card fees, don’t offer the same benefits – and, instead, interest rates can just mount up.
Try Your Hand at Investing
The word investing may seem daunting, but it’s not always what one imagines. If you’ve no knowledge of how it works then investing will bring up images of bankers in smart suits in the City of London or in Canary Wharf. The chaos of Wall Street may even spring to mind. Thankfully, that’s not how modern day investing works.
A wealth management service, like Moneyfarm can help you take the guessing work out of investing by helping you grow your money. Whether your goal is to have enough money to give a big deposit on a house or retire early, investing can help you reach that goal.
With the modern investment options, you will have someone helping you and guiding you as to where your money is better off going. The cool thing about this service, for example, is that you fill out a questionnaire where your propensity to risk is assessed as well as more information about your financial background and personality are gathered.
You are then matched based on those results to a portfolio that is suitable for you. Lastly, the smart algorithm runs monthly to ensure that you are on the right track to achieve your goals.
Becoming financially savvy is a journey that many people have had to go on, sometimes as a result of a financial disaster such as a big credit card bill or a job loss. Whether that applies to you or whether you’ve already got the basics in place, there’s still more that you can do. From taking steps to cut costs where possible to learning about how the finance industry works, you can easily find good deals and build up a very healthy financial profile.