For most people, money is a constant and pressing worry. Whether or not you’ve got enough, whether you’re doing enough to bring in as much as you can, and whether you’re spending it on the right things; these are all problems that many of us feel concerned about on a daily basis. Luckily, there are things that you can do to improve your personal financial health, and most of them are pretty simple. Here are 10 tips for boosting your personal finances that you can use to put yourself in better financial shape!
1. Boost your credit score
Your credit score is one of the great “hidden” figures that affects whether you have good financial health or not. Of course, your credit score isn’t actually hidden; you can check it whenever you like just by using a free site like Experian or Credit Karma. However, many people don’t think to do so, which means they end up with a sub-optimal credit score. There are many ways to boost this score; even taking out £500 loans and making regular repayments can have a positive effect on your credit score, for example.
2. Repay loans on time
It might sound obvious, but one of the best ways to improve your financial health is to repay any loans you have on time. Making regular repayments means you are much less likely to spiral further into debt, and it also helps to boost your credit score, which, as we’ve already outlined, is a great way to improve your overall finances. What’s more, you’ll be more likely to be approved for further loans in future, which could help if you find yourself in a tight spot.
3. Write yourself a budget
You’ll almost certainly never improve your finances in a real sense until you start creating budgets for yourself. Outlining your spending will help you to identify areas in which it could improve; if you don’t know how much you’re in the black (or the red) by each month, then it’s harder to get a picture of how your overall financial health is looking. Writing a budget is easier than it looks, too. All you need to do is parcel out portions of your income based on your priority spending areas!
4. Download a finance app
If you’re not good at tracking your finances (no judgement), then you should think about downloading one of the many finance apps designed to help you do just that. Both Android and iOS devices have lots of finance apps that will help you create and stick to budgets, identify problem areas when it comes to your spending, and even keep track of things like missed payments or unused subscriptions. Finance apps really can be a lifeline if you’re struggling with money.
5. Speak to a professional
Professional finance advisers are there to help. They might seem a little intimidating at first, but the best finance advisers will assist you with your finances and won’t judge you or look down on you, no matter what kind of decisions you’ve made in the past. Don’t be afraid to reach out for the services of a professional if you feel like you need them. Even if you need to spend a little money to hire someone good, you may actually end up saving money due to making better decisions.
6. Be mindful when you’re spending
One of the biggest contributors to poor financial health is a lack of mindfulness when it comes to spending money. Many of us simply spend money without thinking about where that money is being spent or why we’re spending it; we just hand the cash over (or tap our card on the terminal) without even considering the reason behind it. If you want to improve your financial health, then one of the best ways to do that is to be constantly conscious of when you’re spending money and why.
7. Withdraw cash
There’s no denying that paying with cards is much more convenient and quick than paying with cash, but for many people, that’s actually the problem. When you have cash in your pocket, you’re able to better visualise how much money you have and how much you need to keep back, but if your money is an abstract number that you can’t constantly see, it’s harder to understand it. Withdrawing cash could help you to make better budgeting decisions.
8. Break the link between money and self-worth
The amount of money you have in the bank absolutely does not determine who you are or how much you are “worth”. Your bank balance is simply a figure that reflects your current financial health, and that’s all it is. With that in mind, one good way to improve your finances is to try and break the link between your self-worth and your bank balance. By understanding that you are not defined by how much you have, you may help yourself to make better spending decisions.
9. Pick up a side hustle
In this economy, we’re constantly being pushed to do better, work harder, and spend more of our free time being productive. While this won’t work for everyone, you may want to consider picking up a side hustle, which could be a good way to improve your personal finances and help yourself in the long run. Try to pick something that won’t leave you with no free time whatsoever, as this could actually damage your mental health and hinder your productivity.
10. Focus on experiential spending
Buying costly items doesn’t really make us happier. Conversely, spending money on experiences – going out for meals, for example, or travelling – actually has been shown to improve our happiness, so if you’re looking for something to use your disposable income on, try focusing on experiential spending rather than material goods. It might not seem like as sound an investment at first, but it could lead to better mental health and more considered spending in the long term.