The tough economic times that the UK is currently experiencing has affected our finances in a number of ways. It has meant that we can no longer get away with spending as freely as we could 10 years ago.
We’ve come up with five top money moves that will help to improve your financial stability and combat the rising cost of living, here they are:
Setting financial goals
You set goals in both your work and social life, so why not set finance related goals too? It is always best to set three different types of goals; short term, medium term and long term goals. Short term goals can be; paying of credit card debt, saving for Christmas or reducing the cost of your bills; medium term goals may be; pay off all debt or saving a certain amount for retirement, while long-term goals could include buying a holiday home, saving enough to retire or saving enough to send kids to university.
Create a budget
Creating a budget will be one of the best financial moves of your life. A budget essentially provides the foundations for your finances and indeed your spending. There is an endless amount of information around surrounding how to create a budget however it is often over-complicated. All you need to do is gather some recent financial data such as payslips, bank statements and statements of savings. You then need to note down all sources of income and all sources of regular outgoings, subtract your income and outgoings to leave yourself with a surplus income figure. You may then be able to highlight areas of overspending and then make relevant cutbacks.
High street haggling
Many of us are happy to negotiate prices when we are abroad however we often lose this confidence when we get back to the UK. Believe or not, many stores are in fact open to negotiation and will give discounts in the name of making a sale. Your attitude and approach will determine how successful you are, so ensure that you do your research before haggling on the high street. Here are a few top tips:
Don’t always seek a discount – seek free add-ons as part of the total price.
Discounted items may profit the best savings as the manager has already given up hope of getting the original marked price.
Buying items in bulk often gives you a better chance of securing a discount
Approaching managers or supervisors regarding discounts may prove more effective than approaching sales assistants
Items with flaws or defects will often profit better savings
Use comparison websites
Comparison websites are a great money saving tool. Whether you’re looking for car insurance policies, savings accounts, loans, mortgages, credit cards or even products such as electrical goods, sports goods or clothing; comparison websites can be used. Simply enter a few basic details regarding yourself and the product you’re seeking and the comparison site will return as number of suitable products ordered by price.
Establish good credit early in life
The recent recession has affected the banks in a number of ways, not least their lending criteria. Banks have been forced to tighten who they lend money to meaning their best rate loans, mortgages and credit cards are reserved for those with an immaculate credit history. This means if you bad credit or no credit history you’ll find it tough to get approved for credit via your bank. This is why as a young adult it is important to do all you can to establish a good credit score. One of the best ways of doing this is to apply for a credit builder credit card. Use the card sparingly on a monthly basis and pay the balance off on time each month. Regularly monitor your credit score to see whether it is improving over time.