Buying a house, marrying, starting a family, retiring… All of these might seem like far off concepts, but treating them as such is a dangerous path to tread. Although living in the moment might seem appealing, its allure soon fades once reality sets in. A life lived with no financial backing is fraught with hardships and worries, and it’s not something that you want to risk.
Luckily, you don’t need to. As long as you follow a few simple tips, you can create a financial future that’s bright, shiny, and appealing. Here’s how to do it in three easy steps
Step One: Start Saving
As simple as it sounds, the best way to ensure that you have the money you need when you need it is simply to start saving. The amount that you can afford to put aside isn’t all that important, so long as you do it regularly enough to start seeing a difference. If you think about it, putting aside just £50 a month from the age of 21 to 65 would help you to accumulate £114,400.00 with very little effort or hardship.
So when should you start? According to Michelle Highman, CEO of The Money Charity: “Start now. It is never too early to start saving. Even if you can only save a few pounds a month, it will all add up, and the sooner you begin, the bigger the amount of money you will eventually be able to put aside.”
Step Two: Learn to Budget
Starting to save is not your only means of paving the way to a secure financial future; budgeting will also prove to be hugely profitable. Professionals like Sanlam are best placed to advise you on how you can meet the goals that you set yourself, but if you’re working with a small budget initially, there are lots of steps that you can take alone. For a start, it pays to sit down and make a list of your monthly expenditure, highlighting where you can afford to cut back and where you can’t. Try to tally up the costs of your essentials, then add a small amount for sensible luxuries, and do your best not to exceed this figure each month. You’ll find that, provided you can stick to it, your bank balance will see a significant boost.
Step Three: Take Care of Your Credit Score
Our third and final tip is to take care of your credit score. A negative credit record can have some highly detrimental effects later in life, so you have to be very careful to keep it in the black. In the words of Personal Finance Education Group’s Tracey Bleakly:
“I don’t think anyone can say, hand on heart, that they really appreciate just how important their credit score is until they need to borrow money. Whether it’s a credit card, loan, or a mortgage on a property, your credit score is essential for allowing you the option of borrowing money when it is appropriate for your circumstances… It is crucial to look after it.”
Spend wisely, and yours will be just fine.
Take care of your financial future today with these three simple steps.