You don’t have to be a millionaire to be happy with your finances.
Being content with your personal wealth is as much about being in control of your money as the actual amount you have in your account: having a comfortable, well-managed budget, spending wisely, and keeping on top of any debts you may have.
Let’s look at some of the best ways to improve your personal wealth.www.istockphoto.com/ayzak
Keep an eye on your money
It can be very easy to lose control of your finances if you don’t know where you’re up to with them. Keeping a close eye on your money – how much income you receive every month and what your outgoings are – can be the first step to improving your control over your money.
Most banks now offer online and telephone banking services, which can make checking your balances quick and easy – even when you’re on the go. Checking over paper statements can also help you keep track of what you’ve spent – and help you make any changes to your spending habits which you think could improve your finances.
You could also think about keeping your receipts every month and/or keeping a ‘spending diary’ to record all your monthly outgoings.
Manage your debts well
Many of us have unsecured debts on things like credit cards, personal loans, and overdrafts – and though having debts doesn’t have to be a bad thing, paying them off as quickly as possible can give you peace of mind, minimize the interest you pay, and reduce the risk of facing money worries in the future.
Some practical tips for managing debt include:
- Consider reducing the number of credit cards you have to just one – making it easier to keep track of
- ‘Overpay’ your unsecured debts wherever possible by making more than the minimum monthly repayments
- Try and repay your credit card balance as fast as you can to reduce the amount of interest you’ll repay in the long term.
And remember – if you’re really struggling to repay any of your debts, it’s important to get professional advice. For a look at a few different approaches, here’s a quick guide to help you get out of debt.
Increase your income
We’d all like to have a bit more money in our pockets – whether it’s to make paying the household bills a bit easier every month, to save up towards a holiday, or to treat ourselves to something nice once in a while. There are several possible ways of boosting your income and giving your budget a bit more flexibility.
You could think about:
- Working some extra hours if your boss is looking for people to do over-time
- Selling clothes, CDs or electronic equipment you no longer use
- Taking in a lodger and charging them for monthly rent and bills.
Remember that being secure in your personal wealth is about finding the right approach for your situation – so always set yourself realistic goals that you’re confident you can commit to, and that will make you feel happier about your finances in the long term.
This has been a guest post from Melanie Taylor at ThinkMoney.com