Good financial management is definitely a life skill you want to learn. Understanding your income and knowing how to make smarter money decisions isn’t just about your bank balance – it’s about getting the means to achieve what you want to in life – whether that is saving up to travel the world, start your own business or purchase your first home. If we have financial freedom, we have life freedom, to achieve the things which will make us happiest.
Thinking long term isn’t always easy though – sometimes it’s far more tempting to prioritize that last minute vacation or must-have new tech gadget, and making the right choices involves a little bit of self-control. In the long term, getting into great financial habits is always going to be the better choice – so here’s how you can move towards that path.
1. Clean Up Your Credit Score
If you’re not sure what your credit score is, then that is the first thing you need to fix financially. It’s a number which lenders use to assess your application for anything from credit cards to mortgages, and that little number can end up costing you thousands in extra interest if it’s not so great. You’ll pay proportionately so much more for the same amount of credit if you have a worse score – so take some steps to remedy your credit score, like closing old accounts and applying for a disassociation from people you may have previously been financially linked with. Giving your score a makeover and working towards a better one now will get rid of a lot of financial stress in the long run – it could even help you out if you’re in a situation where your bad debt has spiralled and you need a Debt Settlement Lawyer. About 20 per cent of people have errors on their credit file which affect their rating – so schedule an annual review.
2. Shop Smarter
It’s a fact that we buy things – so why not make your purchases work in your financial favour? Shopping using a cashback site is a smart move as it nets you money back on purchases that you would have made anyway. If you couple this up for large purchases with a cashback credit card – as long as you are able to pay back the full balance straight away – then you could be a lot better off. Use apps like Paribus too which tells you when an item you have purchased goes on sale at a lower price and helps you to claim a refund on the difference.
Finally, if you also add on purchases which give you retailer loyalty points that you can cash in or claim discounts on, then you’ve triple-stacked your deal.And that’s definitely shopping smart.
3. Sign Up For A Money Management App
Money management apps can help you to get a much clearer picture of where you’re overspending each month and offer suggestions to boost the amount you put into savings. They pull in information from all of your checking and credit accounts in one dashboard to give you a handy overview.
Plus, many have additional features you can use, such as card purchase round-ups – where the ‘odd’ amount on any card transaction is put into savings automatically – or text alerts when your balance is looking low. Having all the knowledge at your fingertips makes it a lot easier to make the right decisions.