If, like many of us, you seem to be hitting the bottom of your monthly allowance every month, then it might be time to revisit your finances. It can be tough, especially during the last year and managing Covid, not for an occasional treat to turn into an everyday treat. Before you know it though, you’ve hit your overdraft and are in the red. Here are a few ways you can improve your finances and get yourself back in the positive.
Managing Finances with Kids
This is one of the hardest things. Especially if you’ve got a big family and are teaching your kids to be good with their cash, as well as making sure they’ve got a stable financial future, making sure you pass on good habits can be tricky. It’s one thing for you and your partner to throw caution to the winds and overspend one week, knowing that the pair of you can cut back the following week. But this is a difficult concept to explain to children who are used to routine and regulation. If you’re teaching from home right now (or even if you’re not) you can build teaching about finances into your lesson planning. Why not give your kids ‘budgets’ and ask them to help with the weekly shop? There are plenty of ways you can get them involved in financial planning and start helping them build a secure future where they’ll know how to spend less and save more or work out which loan companies, like Plenti, have the most favorable interest rates, and things like that. It might seem like a long time before they’ll need that info, but the sooner they are financially literate, the easier life will be for them in the future.
You can get free online checking for your banking online, and it will be updated instantly on your smartphone or tablet. This really is one of the best ways you can keep a handle on your finances and feel sure that you are on top of your money. If you’re concerned that having access to your savings will encourage dipping in and out, then you can set it up to just link to your current account so you know what you’ve got left for the month, but you don’t have to worry about touching your savings when the sales start!
Similar to online banking, apps are a great way to keep track of your cash. Not only that, but most of them also have handy savings functions. Whether it’s rounding your shopping up to the nearest pound and saving the difference (you’ll be amazed at how quickly this all adds up!) or reminding you how much you spend on daily coffee, these pocket reminders are very useful.
Check In & Budget
It might seem like the most obvious step but with auto-filled forms on pretty much every shopping page online (and who has been able to go out to the shops in the last year?), it’s very easy to sign up to direct debits and spend money without realising you’re doing it. If you get worried about looking over your statements, it’s time to face the music. Print or look digitally at a statement for the last three months, and make a note of all your monthly direct debits. There are often ways to make paying your bills cheaper and once you have a budget, you’ll know what you have to work with.