Money has always been an important issue. Whether or not you believe it makes the world go round, you’re always going to need it. We need money to live a comfortable lifestyle, keep a roof over our families’ heads, and eat and heat our homes. And with so much financial uncertainty in the world, rising costs and more people being plunged into poverty, it’s more important to think about right now than ever before. Here are some of the ways you can improve your financial situation this year.
Clear your debts
Not all debt is ‘bad debt’. When it comes to things like mortgages, for example, these don’t fall into the same category as credit cards, catalogue accounts and other credit accounts (with high-interest rates that can result in overspending). The problem with debt is that it’s easy to fall into, but so hard to get out of- it’s why it’s known as a slippery slope. Whether it was a result of accidentally overspending or you had to borrow money to deal with an emergency, it’s a situation that no one wants to be in.
Over the course of the pandemic, debt increased massively. Even with the help of furlough and government schemes, many of us simply couldn’t make ends meet so this might be the first time in your life you’re dealing with this. If your debt has spiralled to the point that you can no longer pay it off or keep up with payments it’s really important to get help, contact a debt company or debt charity who can negotiate with your creditors. They can often get your monthly payments reduced and interest is frozen so that it is no longer accumulating. Meaning your debts are no longer spiralling out of control.
Saving some money, at least enough to act as a ‘buffer’ against emergency situations is always worthwhile. First, you’ll need to get out of debt, but when you’re no longer in the red, aim to have both long and short term savings if you can. Your long term savings can go towards things like a mortgage deposit if your plan is to get onto the property ladder. Your short term savings can go towards luxuries like holidays, gig tickets to see your fave artist or emergencies and mean you won’t have to use credit cards or loans. Having money saved gives you financial security and peace of mind and prevents you from ending up in trouble with money.
Earn extra money
Being able to earn some extra income is incredibly useful, especially in this financial climate. If you can do so from home, around your other commitments then even better. You could make and sell items on online marketplaces like Etsy, or even buy and sell items to create your own small business. You could look into investing and trading, whether it be with bonds, the stock market or crypto. You could monetise your skills, if you’re good at writing, coding, design or making music there are lots of ways to make money from these talents online these days. An additional source of income means you can save quicker, pay debts quicker or just cover extra costs.