Keeping control of your finances is a difficult but necessary job. However, in the age of internet banking, contactless payments and features such as Apple Pay, it can be difficult to track exactly how you’re spending your money. In this post, we’ll look at some top ways that you can get control of your finances.
1Keep Receipts and a Log
If you feel like you’re losing control of your finances, then it’s worth keeping a log of where your money’s going. By keeping receipts for all your transactions and trawling through your online banking/app transactions, you’ll be able to build up a clear picture of where your money is going, particularly your frivolous spending.
As such, it’s helpful to start a log that splits your spending down into categories such as:
- Direct debits/ standing orders
- Essential payments
- Food/petrol/travel expenditure
- Frivolous spending
It can be useful to show you just how much you’re spending on takeaways and take out coffees each month, providing you with targeted areas where you can save. This tool can help.
2Review Standing Orders and Direct Debits
Leading on from the above, you should also ensure you review all of your standing orders and direct debits. If you no longer use the gym, or Spotify, for example, then you could be spending hundreds of pounds per year on things you’re not currently using, which could free up your personal finances.
However, before you cancel any direct debits, check the contract you signed up to and ensure you can cancel it at any time. If you have to wait for a certain day (such as a 12-month gym contract), then add a diary reminder so you can cancel it as soon as possible without incurring penalties.
3Cover All Bills and Repayments
If you fail to pay your bills on time or miss any repayments, then as well as opening you up to financial penalties, you’ll also be damaging your credit score.
As a result, you should always ensure that you have enough money to cover any bills and payments, as by paying them all on time, you’ll also improve your credit score.
If easier, you could set up a separate bank account for all your bills.
4Plan, Plan, Plan
However, as much as your budget and calculate, there are occasions where you may need a little extra help, such as unexpected bills or repairs.
As a result, if you have an emergency and a loan is necessary to help you, then ensure that you calculate exactly what you need, as well as formulating a plan to pay it back as quickly as you possibly can, in affordable installments.
Follow these tips and you should be able to improve the control you have over your finances.