Had a tough year? Financial struggles can really bring you down, particularly if you have a family to support and plenty of responsibilities. Fortunately, there are concrete steps you can take in both the short and long-term to improve your financial prospects. Start taking some of these steps today to build wealth, clear debt, and get your finances back on track.
Educate yourself on financial literacy.
While taking full-time courses in person may be a tough ask if you’re already working, there are other options if you want to improve your financial literacy and gain new qualifications. You can take share market courses online to learn about making money on the stock market, which could give you a creative new strategy for boosting your income without leaving your current job.
Re-think your budget.
If you’ve been struggling financially in recent years, it’s highly likely that your budget isn’t working as it should be. Take a look at exactly where your money is going on a daily basis, breaking it down into concise categories. Consider where you could be cutting costs without making a major dent in your lifestyle, and find ways to make your income stretch a little further.
Funnel more money into debt repayments.
Many families find themselves in debt but don’t do enough each month to manage their debt, choosing to spend their money on other things instead. Try to put aside a little more each month to pay off outstanding bills or credit card debts – this will help you clear your debt quicker in the long-term, while boosting your credit score and allowing you to gain a stronger feeling of control over your finances.
Consolidate where possible.
If you haven’t considered it already, take a look at debt consolidation plans to help you manage your repayments more effectively. You may be able to transfer existing debts over to 0% interest credit cards, which gives you a chance to make repayments at a cheaper rate than you have been. It’s a simple way to save money that’s recommended by many debt management specialists.
Shop around for better insurance.
Various forms of insurance can take a big chunk of your income every month if you don’t shop around effectively. Re-think your policies and use price comparison websites and brokers to find out if you could be getting a better deal. Making the switch may seem like a hassle, but it could save you a fortune in the future.
Don’t let your savings sit around without working for you. Invest your savings into a super fund or secure investment option, or use a high-interest savings account to add a little extra to your savings every month. A financial adviser can be a great asset if you’re unsure of exactly how to manage your savings effectively.
Track your spending carefully.
Many of us, particularly those of us who have trouble with money, don’t track our spending well enough. Use an app or a simple notepad to track every cent you spend on a daily basis. Keep an eye out for those little unnecessary expenses that add up quickly and work out ways to avoid them moving forward. This simple strategy makes budgeting easier and helps you become more aware of your financial habits.