1. Learn to Budget
Even if you haven’t had to budget much before, it is actually one of the most important aspects of gaining control of your finances. By keeping a budget (perhaps even in a spreadsheet), of incoming and outgoing finances you will be able to get a real picture of how your financial picture looks, what needs to be improved upon; and where you can possibly cut back. Start as you mean to go on and begin your budget from the offset. You’ll be glad you did!
2. Bank Accounts
There are many different types of bank accounts available, dependent upon your circumstances and requirements. Perhaps you already have a savings account, or perhaps you’re new to the bank account world. It is important to consider your needs before you sign up for any account. Will you require credit? If not, a simple current account may be suitable for your needs. A savings account offers you the ability to put a little money aside for a rainy day. However, savings are important if you would like to consider purchasing your own property. The deposit (usually between 5-10% of the property cost), will need to be saved for, usually over a period of time. Consider your options and check any fees before making any firm decisions.
3. Insurance Policies
Your parents may have had insurance policies that you were unaware of. Household insurance is one of the most common policies which usually includes contents and buildings cover alongside it. If you have your own place, it may be important to consider these options and make sure you continually update and renew your policy.
4. Learning to Drive
If you’re considering learning to drive, there are costs that you will need to take into account, both for the initial lessons and costs of a driving test and then the on-going costs of running a car. It can sometimes be difficult to find insurance for young drivers. There are, however, some policies available that can offer a guaranteed discount on taking out a performance-based insurance policy, which can be great for young drivers. It pays to shop around and get multiple quotes before you finally settle on a policy that is right for you.
5. Cash Back Sites
If you are unaware of the cash-back sites available, you are missing out on valuable money in your pocket. The idea behind cash-back sites is that you gain money back every time you shop at certain stores. With many sites signed up to this now including insurance, food shopping and electrical stores, there are many reasons to sign up to a cash-back site to save money.
6. Credit Cards and Money Saving Tips
If you have a credit card already, or are considering getting one, do take a particular interest in the annual percentage rate (APR), which will determine what your monthly payment will be. You must learn to shop around for the latest deals and, if necessary, consider switching cards for a 0% APR deal.
7. Food Shopping
Now you’re responsible for your own food shopping, it is important to know when to get the best bargains. If you’ve ever noticed mum dash off to the supermarket every Saturday evening and never wondered why, you’re about to find out. Many supermarkets discount items that may have a short sell by date (or have slight damage), at certain times in the week. There is usually very little wrong with the food, occasionally packaging can be ripped. So find out when your local supermarket puts out discount items and give it a go.
8. Clothes Shopping
By taking advantage of discount codes and cash-back sites you can save money when buying clothes online. If you keep an eye on sales throughout the year, you will realise that clothing can be brought at a fraction of the original cost when bought out of season. Do stock up on clothing items that you will regularly require during this time; you can save hundreds over the period of the year.
9. Discount codes/Voucher Sites
Discount and voucher code sites enable you to save money whilst you shop. This is the time where every penny counts and you will need to learn to shop smart. Take advantage of the discounts available when shopping online, to put those pennies back into your pocket, rather than theirs! Consider a deals site to purchase Christmas or birthday gifts at a fraction of the cost all year round.
If you have inherited the provider from the previous tenants, do not think that you have to remain with them. Whether it is gas, electricity, water, phone or internet, shop around for a better deal if it can save you in the long run. If you have some savings, consider a one off payment to bring down the monthly payments.
Once you’ve learnt to budget your funds appropriately, it becomes second nature to continue to do so. It’s not about penny pinching, it is simply being savvy with your finances and accounting. Pennies make pounds and pounds add up quite substantially.
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Reed Rickman writes extensively on topics about finance for a digital marketing agency.