Organization, organization, organization. It may have been drilled into your psyche from an early age thanks to either a disciplined parental unit, impressionable school teachers or a regimented cadet force commander (which if so, all the better), but the fact of the matter is this. Those people who are prone to make lists for pretty much every aspect of their lives tend to be better prepared to financially weather any storm or even avoid them in the first instance. But far from being an inherent or naturally occurring trait, you’ll be pleased to learn that the power of organisation can be taught. And that – despite their smugness – those who flex their financially astuteness aren’t as special as they like to make out. Well, they are, but shouldn’t be so conceited about it. And most importantly, you too can join their ranks.
Far from being traced back to an individual’s DNA, we all possess the attributes required to perfect financial savviness, providing we do our homework. And by homework, we mean actually sitting down on a regular basis and keeping tabs on our monetary matters and pre-planning budgets and other aspects of our personal finances which might sound a bit boring, but will certainly pay dividends in the end. Admittedly, things will be sent to test us at times we least expect (bad health, unemployment, interest rate rises, etc), however, if we make the right sort on contingency plans in advance – together with habitually monitoring our household funds – then we’ll all be better prepared come Armageddon.
So, what are the rules of engagement that we should be aware of, when talking about being more financially tuned-in? In both theory and practice it’s not so much about engagement, but rather more to do with exercising control over the destiny of our household income at all times, essentially by applying a more organised approach to your budget. As they say, it’s not exactly rocket science; and therefore practitioners don’t need to be rocket scientists to achieve their personal goals.
Beneath we look at the unwritten rules more keenly associated with better financial management of our household income, and furnish you with some tips on how to set in motion the practical architecture that will go a long way to ensuring that you don’t fall on hard times.
Live Within your Means
Although much easier said than done – especially when we can all be distracted by shiny objects (and not so shiny, but none the less superficial examples) – living within our means is priceless advice in this day and age. Despite living in a society where we’re often measured by our materialistic worth these days, it’s sometimes virtually impossible to turn a blind eye to the allure of expensive things; be they gadgets, new cars, fancy holidays, designer labels et al. But try you must if you’re to side-swerve unnecessary debt, courtesy of spiralling interest rates on pretty much everything we purchase on credit. Sit down and work out your monthly expenditure (this will include utility bills, existing loans, mortgage repayments, schooling, gym membership, pensions and life savings plans, groceries, etc), only this way will you know what figure you’re left with in terms of disposable income.
Stick to a Documented Budget
Ready reckoning your household income and expenditure is only half of it, as once you’ve established what money you’ve got to play with, then you must not veer off track. Moreover, you need to remind yourself of it on a regular basis by having the relevant digits close to hand. Thanks to a range of dedicated smartphone apps available, there really is no excuse not to keep tabs on your budget. Alternatively, input the key facts and figures onto a spreadsheet and keep it on your laptop. Just so long as you can readily access the all-important numbers and continue to do the relevant crunching between one pay cheque and the next.
Save for a Rainy Day
Don’t kid yourself it won’t come, as statistically-speaking, it will. When or where, nobody knows. However, by setting some money aside for its arrival you’ll be far better placed to cope when it does land. Whether it’s a few quid a month or more, experience tells us that something is always better than nothing. Once you get into the habit of squirreling a sum away on a routine basis, you won’t even think about it after a while. Sometimes, however, a big expenditure can happen at a moment’s notice and you may not have enough cash saved up for this. In this instance, you can contact a personal loans provider such as Cash 1 Loans who have a very streamlined process and can tide you over until your next pay day.
It’s true what they say, you know. You should never stop learning in life, irrespective of how old you are. Those people with their heads screwed on over money are continually looking into ways and means of not just accruing their personal wealth but protecting it as best they can. With a plethora of websites dedicated to both ways of adding to the coffers as well as conserving what you’ve already accumulated, elsewhere you could speak with financial professionals to see how best the money you have got can work for you.