3 simple steps to keeping your finances in check

In a fluctuating financial climate, it’s a smart idea to keep track of what you’re spending. This may seem like a hefty and complicated task that requires a lot of discipline. However, you can strip this back to three fundamental and simple steps that will ensure you keep your finances in check. Bear these in mind and managing your money need not be as hard as you fear:

Create a budget

If you really want to keep your finances in check you’ll need to keep a very close eye on what you’re spending. Knowledge is power, so make sure you know about all of your incomings and outgoings and create yourself a detailed plan.

In doing so, you’ll be able to clearly see what you’re spending your money on and where you need to cut back. This can be done easily using a spreadsheet template or you can manage your finances via various apps available on Android and Apple devices. For example, the Mint app is one of the best for keeping track of your finances, as it takes the hassle out of making a budget. It’s great as you can link the app to your current account so that you get an accurate at-a-glance look at your finances whenever you need it.

Save money

If you spend less, you’ll find it much easier to keep your finances in check. This might sound easier said than done but, if you commit yourself and start small you can quickly make a substantial difference to your bank balance.

The two easiest ways to save money are to cut back on expensive habits and shop around for cheaper ways of getting the things you want/need.

Cutting back might involve avoiding the regular morning coffee, slashing the number of takeaways you order or cancelling a subscription you no longer need (whether that be to a magazine, online service or gym).

Shopping around involves you committing to looking for the best deals you can get on every bill. Use comparison sites to make sure you’re not paying over the odds for everything from your car insurance to your internet, TV, mobile phone and utility bills. Don’t be afraid of ringing up your current providers to ask for a better deal either. Every pound you save will, after all, make that budget plan look better.

Smart investments

With interest rates languishing, you need to give some thought to how you can make your money go a little further. If you can find a way to maximise the money you have, then it’ll be much easier to keep your finances in check.

You’ll need some knowledge in order to successfully invest as it’s not a good idea to invest in something you’re unsure about; that wouldn’t be a smart investment. Stick to what you know – and do plenty of research before you begin. If you’re confident about currency, FX Trading is for you. If you know your bricks and mortar, invest in the right properties. Alternatively, search out savings accounts that can deliver strong returns. You might have to lock your money away for a period of time but, if you can afford it, it’ll be worth the returns.

With a strong budget plan, smart savings and a commitment to make your savings go further, you’ll have your finances in check and feel confident about managing your money going forward.

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