Excellent personal finance management is undoubtedly crucial to enjoying your peace of mind over money matters. However, many UK adults struggle with this, with the Financial Capability Survey estimating that 39% of adults don’t feel confident managing their money. Nevertheless, you can adopt countless helpful strategies to take better charge of your financial situation right away. Please consider the points below if you wish to learn more about managing your finances better.
- Monitor your credit score
Your credit score is a number between 150 and 1,000 that represents your creditworthiness based on an analysis of your credit files. Therefore, many financial experts recommend keeping an eye on this number for several good reasons. For instance, checking your credit report allows you to discover any mistakes that could affect your chances of getting credit. Also, since this score is ultimately based on how responsibly you leverage your credit facilities, knowing your credit score can help you make better financial decisions to boost your creditworthiness. TransUnion, Experian, and Equifax are the UK’s leading credit reference agencies (CRAs). Luckily, you can check your credit report with each CRA for free through their respective partner website, so keep this in mind.
- Plan and save for retirement
Retirement always seems like a lifetime away, but it arrives sooner than anticipated for most people. Consequently, consider saving for your retirement immediately so your money can grow over time due to compounding interest. You can put your money into a pension plan as one of the most tax-efficient ways to save for a comfortable retirement. You will also usually enjoy tax relief on all payments you make into a pension plan, and you can even pay less if you are a higher rate taxpayer. However, since pensions are significant investments, it is prudent to protect your pension to secure your financial future. For instance, if you are divorced, you can hire great lawyers to advise you on how to protect your pension in a divorce since pensions are marital assets that are considered part of any financial settlement.
- Pay off debt
There is no denying the substantial financial burden that debt represents to many people worldwide. According to the Money Charity, the average total debt per UK household stood at £62,706 in June 2021. Debt affects your current budget and future savings, so it would help to take it seriously and develop a practical debt reduction plan to achieve your long-term financial goals. You can consolidate high-interest credit cards into a lower line of credit to pay off your debt quicker and even pay less. However, be prepared to live within your means as you consolidate your debt, so you don’t end up with a debt consolidation loan and a new credit card balance.
- Make and stick to a realistic budget
Your budget is one of the principal tools to help you manage your finances better, so it is prudent to create and follow a realistic budget. This budget allows you to make a spending plan to use your money in ways that will help you achieve your financial goals. Generally, you can make your budget as detailed as you want, as long as it helps you reach goals of padding your emergency fund, spending less, paying off debts, among others. Fortunately, there are many budgeting apps you can rely on these days to track your finances over the long term.