Four Steps To A Money Makeover

As we approach the end of another year, naturally we begin to evaluate how it went and what we hope to achieve in the year to come. Money is usually a big part of it. In order to get where we want to in life – whether it’s becoming debt-free, travelling around the world, saving towards buying a home or perhaps funding further studies to jump a few rungs on the career ladder – all require careful planning with our funds. Financial control is simply a tool to give you the freedom to pursue what makes you happy. Over time, most of us develop some bad financial habits along the way. But it’s never too late for a fresh start, and becoming more educated about how you can make your money work for you. So how do you give your money a makeover? 

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Take An Overview 

A financial overview can help you to keep track of where all your money is going and what it’s doing for you. Take the time to sit down and gather together bank account and credit card statements, details of any loans, your current credit score, saving and investments and your personal budget. Keep track of it all with a budget spreadsheet in Excel or you could also use a money management app that can connect to account information from various sources and pull it all into one place to you can keep a top level view. Having an overview gives you the ultimate knowledge on how you’re doing financially and allows you to make informed decisions about what you need to change in order to get to where you want to be. It can be useful to have some professional help, especially if there are complex circumstances such as probate and estate administration services to sort out an inheritance, or an independent financial advisor who can help you create a strategy to save for a property or set up a retirement fund. 


Consider Super Charging Your Income 

There are lots of ways that you can strengthen and diversify your income in order to make quicker progress on your financial goals. Additional income on top of a regular salary can really help you to make inroads. Thanks to the power of the internet, there are plenty of ways to start a business on the side, from offering your work skills on a freelance basis to setting up an eBay reselling operation or looking into dropshipping. Picking up some extra work can really balance the books. The additional income can be diverted to snowball credit card debt or funnelled into a high interest savings account to make lots of progress towards your money goals. 


Making Savings On Your Bills 

There will always be unavoidable expenses, but focusing on minimising those is worthwhile and can really add up. Use a comparison site to double check the rates you are paying for your utilities, ask broadband and telephone providers for their lowest quotes, shop around when your mobile phone contract expires and make sure you’re paying the lowest cost for insurance and if you have a mortgage compare deals for the lowest rates. Quite often we accept a renewal without checking if we could have a better deal elsewhere, and lose out on hundreds in the process. Even when it comes to shopping online, there are shopping comparison sites that can track prices over times or alert you when things you want go on sale. 


Say No To Impulse Purchases

How many times have you paid out for a ‘must have’ item that quickly lost its appeal or bought something on sale because it seemed like a bargain only to realise that you never use it? Impulse buying is bad for our wallets, the environment and even our mental health. So putting a stop to knee-jerk purchases is essential if you really want to have financial control. There are a few tricks you can use to help you along the way. Firstly, never buy anything in a sale unless you were planning to purchase it anyway at full price. Second, decide what you are willing to pay for something before you look at the price tag – and if it’s higher than you thought was worth it, don’t purchase. It can also be helpful to take a photo of something that catches your eye and add it to a ‘wishlist’ on your phone rather than buying. If you still want the item at the end of the month then you can buy it – but you’ll be surprised at how many things that seemed essential at the time you can do without once you’ve had some time to think. 


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