Five tips on financially thriving

If you are like most people, then you’re likely feeling the financial squeeze this month. Here are five tips on how to financially thrive all year.

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1. Budget

The first thing to do to gain financial stability is to create a budget. This should be a factual exercise that lists the cold hard facts — what is your income compared to your outgoings?

You could do it electronically with a spreadsheet or simply with pen and paper. If you’re unsure where to start, there are many free budgeting templates for you to use online or print out to fill in.

2. Save

The idea of saving may seem really out of reach if you normally rely on your overdraft or credit cards. However, with an income against outgoings budget in place, you can now easily search for cheaper alternatives to see where you can get a good deal when it comes to utilities and other fixed outgoings.

Allocate anything leftover for savings; one trick is to set up a standing order so it transfers to a separate account as soon as payday comes. By avoiding temptation you are much more likely to succeed.

3. Declutter

Whether you were given many gifts or not this holiday, chances are you have multiple items around you that you no longer need or want. Instead of letting it gather dust and take up space, why not declutter and sell these items on so that they can make someone else happy whilst filling up your piggy bank. And with each item you pass on, you should think about how much you would have ‘saved’ if you didn’t buy it in the first place. Let that thought linger and truly think about how much you want or need something before purchasing next time.

Question your spending and ask yourself — do I need this or want it? Will this enrich my life?

4. Rewire your brain

Real change involves an adjustment to your lifestyle; a life-long choice that you continue to make every day. Through doing the above steps, you may feel more on track heading towards the right direction but don’t stop now, continue your learning journey until your actions become habits.

Question your spending and ask yourself — do I need this or want it? Will this enrich my life? In one month’s time will this still be used? The trick isn’t to necessarily stop frivolous spending, but it’s to encourage mindful spending.

5. Educate yourself

At school, we’re taught how to calculate and solve equations but we are not necessarily taught how to manage our money. Most adults have never had credit ratings, mortgages or interest rates explained to them but it’s never too late to learn anything. Below are some of the free courses and articles to help you continue your journey.

This article was previously published on OpenLearn in December 2018, by the OpenLearn team.

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