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Get Control of Your Finances

By Clare Evans

When it comes to money we tend to fall into three main categories: spend less than we earn, spend what we earn, spend more than we earn. If you’d like to have more money each month or want to get control of your finances read on.

Create some good financial habits by taking a look at where you are now. Where do you want to be? Follow these tips to help you get there.

- Keep a money diary for a week. If you don’t know where you spend your money, you can’t start making changes. Carry a notebook with you and write down every single penny you spend as soon as you spend it, every day for a week – every bill, standing order, newspaper, snack, bus fare, coffee … At the end of the week look at where it all went. Can you see any areas where you could make changes?

- What is your minimum survival income? How much do you need to pay for the basics like mortgage, rent, insurance, bills, food and car each month? Aim to save at least three times your monthly survival income with easy access in case of emergency.

- Your monthly expenditure. Work out what you spend monthly on everything else: meals out, entertaining, clothes, holidays, presents, credit card repayments etc. etc. Including the basics, compare your total outgoings with your income. Where’s the fit? Are you overspending?

- What are any debts costing you each month? How much do you pay in interest? What would you rather be spending that money on? If you can create some spare income each month can you put it towards ‘busting’ some of your debt. Contact me for a specific debt-busting exercise.

- Save 10% of your income. As a minimum put aside at least 10% of your monthly salary. You never know when you might need it. Place it somewhere with easy access, preferably earning interest – not under the mattress!

- Search around for the best deals. How often do you check out the best deals available for insurance, mortgage, fuel, credit cards? I’ve just saved myself almost £200 on my car insurance renewal. Check out all the brokers and online insurance companies for the best quote. Use cost comparison sites such as www.kelkoo.com and www.dealtime.com. You can also save money by switching to a different energy supplier via sites such as www.uswitch.com.

- Talk to a Financial Advisor. While you can learn a certain amount from newspapers, magazines and the Internet, it’s always worth discussing your financial requirements with a good IFA. Your bank may be a place to start – they may not be independent but will be able to advise you on your financial needs for your situation depending on age, family, income and future plans. The sooner you start the better off you’ll be.

If you’d like some more information on getting your finances under control then contact me directly.

About the Author

I work with individuals and small businesses wanting to grow. I provide the tools, techniques and strategies to help them improve their time management and planning skills to increase their productivity and effectiveness.



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