This is a guest post by the wonderful Lucy Rose. Once again, thank you so much for doing this, Lucy.
We all reach a stage in life where we realise that it is time to start making an investment in the future. Whether that means getting a deposit together for a house or putting money away each month to save for something big or even for a rainy day, there comes a time when this will start to take more of a priority. The key to being financially responsible, put simply, is ‘living within your means’. This article will give some top tips to help you become more financially responsible, starting today.
The risks of getting into debt
Having the ability to organise your finances and plan and budget ahead requires some level of foresight and maturity. Living from day to day without thinking ahead for extended periods, significantly increases the chances that you will end up in debt with friends, family, or at worst with service providers or credit card companies.
This can be a slippery slope, as yet get further into debt and start missing bill payments it could severely affect your credit rating, which will harm your prospects and limit your opportunities for getting onto the property ladder. It’s a vicious cycle that you don’t want to get into.
Budget your income
This is the first and most important step towards becoming financially responsible, and it is something that you will need to do every month to make sure that you are covering all monthly expenses and outgoings at the same time as leaving enough money left over to buy any essentials you may need to tide you over until the next pay check. This is the basic framework that any financial success is built on.
Make a debt plan
One you start making debt payments and you can see the amount you owe decreasing every month you will start to feel a lot better and more motivated to see it through and keep the momentum going. Getting any debts paid off will be a massive weight off your shoulders, giving you much more freedom with your finances.
The first step is to get in touch with the service providers in question and organise a manageable debt payment plan with each of them directly, or if you prefer and find it easier to manage, there are ways that you can consolidate all of your debt into one and make a regular monthly payment that encompasses all of them.
Control your spending habits
This involves bringing some awareness around your expenditure; what kind of things are you spending the most money on? Are you spending too much money on buying non-essential items, i.e. things you want but don’t need? In the meantime, while you build up your finances, you will need to weed out any bad spending habits such as impulsive buys or getting sucked into sales.
If you are spending too much money on addictive substances, like alcohol or tobacco and you know that this is a massive drain on your finances, maybe it is time to start addressing any addictions you might have and getting into healthier and more sustainable habits.
A brighter future
You will find that once you have better control of your finances, you will reduce a significant source of stress and worry in your life which will leave you feeling much happier, more secure and in control. Being able to save up to buy things you need that will make your life easier or save for a holiday or weekend away to visit family or friends will mean that you can start enjoying your life more and planning for the future.
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