What Are The Best Ways to Improve Your Financial Security?
Financial security is something that just about all of us would like to achieve. It’s not about having lots of money to splash around (even though that would be nice!) It’s about being able to live comfortably. To be able to afford the things you need with a little left over for luxuries, and to generally not have to worry about money. But how can you achieve this? Here are a few ideas.
Buy your own home
We all know that renting is essentially ‘dead money.’ You pay a landlord a generous sum each month, which pays for living in their property for just that month. At the end of the tenancy you have nothing to show for it. For not much more money (sometimes it even works out cheaper) you can get a mortgage, where each monthly payment you make goes towards owning your home. The only issue is, to do this you need to raise a deposit and be accepted for a mortgage. Since this can take a number of years, you can work on improving your credit score and saving at the same time. Take out a credit card and use it VERY carefully, spend on it each month and then pay it back in full. This helps to build a good credit score without accumulating debt- a good credit score is vital in both being accepted and securing the best rates. Cut back on your luxuries for a while and really work hard to save for a deposit. Once it’s paid and you have a mortgage on your home, it’s generally no more expensive but you’re not wasting money on rent. Later in life when the home has been paid, you have the security of knowing you’ll always have a place to live. Even when you retire or if have to work less hours later down the line, when your home has been paid for outright it makes your overall outgoings each month much cheaper.
Setting a budget, and sticking to it, is one of the most valuable things you can do in terms of managing your money. It doesn’t matter if your income is large or small, knowing exactly where your money needs to go each month to cover your bills and living expenses is so important. Get this wrong and you can fall into arrears with bills, you can find yourself relying on credit to get by and falling into debt. Set a budget in a way that works for you, it could be on a budgeting app, on an excel spreadsheet, a calendar or just notepad and pen. Go through every area of your budget from bills to travel expenses, socialising, luxuries and more and work out exactly what you’re spending and if there’s anywhere you can cut back on. Things like digital subscriptions like Netflix and Spotify for example don’t appear to cost much but aren’t worth keeping if you don’t use them regularly. Many of us overspend on groceries, consider buying own brands instead of big brand names to cut down costs and always shop to a list to prevent impulse purchases.
Have a backup way to earn money
Even if you’re quite secure with money and manage to cover everything each month, there will always be time when you need a little extra. Maybe an unexpected bill or expense has come up, or maybe something completely random like your loved one needs bailing out of jail! You do have companies like Amistad Bail Bonds to borrow the money if needed, but it’s even easier to have immediate access to cash yourself. Having a way to earn some extra cash can help you to cover an expense or save for something you have coming up. What better way than with a side hustle from your own home- freelancing sites are particularly good for this as you can come and go as you please. While each piece you take on will have a deadline, you can do as many or as few as you want so if you need to boost your income one month just logon and grind. A blog is another fantastic way to earn money, it will take time to reach the stage where it’s earning money but start off as a hobby. Later down the line, you will be approached by sponsors and advertisers and can earn money around your full time job. Lots of people have turned this into a full time career so the sky’s the limit! Other ways you could earn money from home is by setting up a business. You could buy and sell items for a profit, or utilise a skill you have. You could bake wedding and occasion cakes. You could propagate seedlings and sell plants. You could make soaps, jewellery or any other kind of craft to sell. Utilise your hobbies and interests and it won’t even feel like work.
Any addiction is bad for you. It’s easy to think that gambling isn’t as bad as drugs or alcohol since you’re not damaging your body, but you’re damaging your mind and could quite easily lose it all. The thing about gambling is that you’re forever ‘chasing’ money you’ve lost, trying to make it back. Even when you do get a big win, chances are it still doesn’t cover what you’ve put into the system over the years. Many people have lost their homes and everything they own, have destroyed their family and generally torn their lives apart due to gambling. It’s bad for your finances and it’s bad for your mental health, if you’re struggling with this then speak to your GP who will be able to put you in contact with the right people for treatment.
If you know you’re not good with money, why not take action? A few simple changes could make life so much easier, so it’s something to look into if you want to improve your life.