The sooner you start to get in control of your finances, the more freedom financially you could have now and in the future.
Read on to find out the ways you should be following in order to make your money work for you:
Review Your Income
Negotiating your salary at your current place of work can be one of the easiest way to increase your income. However, greater salary increases often come through changing companies.
Creating additional income alongside of your main job is also popular, check out this post on 5 easy ways to make additional income.
The additional income you receive could be invested, put towards a house deposit or build up your retirement plans. Be careful not to fall into the trap of lifestyle inflation!
Review Your Spending
Creating a budgeting will not only help you review your spending but it is seen as the key to getting a grip on your finances. Moreover, by knowing how much you are spending every month could help you avoid lifestyle inflation as you learn how to manage your money and know your average expenses.
In order to start a budget you really do not need to buy a costly budgeting spreadsheet – you can simply create one to meet your own needs and wants. List your expenses such as rent, groceries, transport etc and distribute your income to cover these expenses.
A successful budget will allow to pay for your expenses on time, having money to save / invest and allowing you to enjoy your life.
Check out my blog post on the popular 50, 30, 30 budgeting method – just one of many budgeting methods.
Create a Retirement Plan
You may think that retirement is something only over 60’s need to worry about, however the sooner you start thinking about retiring, the more opportunities will become potentially available to you.
Increasing your pension contributions, taking a look at where your pension is being invested, opening a self-invested personal pension (SIPP) or Lifetime ISA (LISA) are options you can be looking at now that could potentially boost your pension pot.
Increase your Credit Score
Building up your credit score will allow you to open up more opportunities, and potentially help your mortgage or any credit application. Lenders, including credit card providers or your phone bill provider all look at your credit score before approving (or rejecting) you.
There are many ways to build up your credit score, such as through paying bills in full on time, using a credit card properly and keeping credit utilisation to 20 – 30%. Find out more ways to increase your credit score in this blog post.
Build Your Emergency Fund
An Emergency Fund is cash savings that you can easily access in the case of an emergency – such as if you lose your job, sudden repairs are required or bills need to be paid immediately. Your emergency fund should ideally cover 3 – 6 months of living expenses. This amount will differ for everybody, depending on your circumstances such as those with mortgage payments and dependents to look after.
For tips on how to build up your emergency fund, such as automating payments to tracking expenditure, read this blog post.
You never will know when you will need to use your emergency fund (hopefully never), however knowing that you have one should bring you peace of mind.
Invest in the Stock Market
It has never been easier to start investing and building up your investment portfolio. The sooner you start investing, the more you can rely on compounding rather than cash savings to build up your wealth.
From platforms charging zero-commission to invest with them or information and resources being available at your fingertips – these have increased the opportunities available to start investing for everyone. It is a great time to be an investor!
Starting to get serious about your financial outlook sooner than later will benefit you in the long run. The earlier you start thinking about your life, career path and financial wants – the less time you will spend in the future committing to these.
Take some time to recognise your current financial position, where you want to be in the future and how you will get about reaching those goals.