Hedland & Newman

How to take control of your money now

Coming into the holiday season the cost of festivities can certainly stack up with the blow out of gifts and extra expenses creating a stressful time when in fact we should be enjoying our time off. This additional spending can get out of control quickly and can often place investors in a negative position by starting the year with more bad debt.

Now is a better time than ever to get your finances in order and take control of your money, easing the strain of funding these extra costs.

Here are my top 4 tips for taking control of your money, starting today.

1) Make a budget for December and January

It doesn’t matter how you track your spending but whichever method you choose stick to it. After you’ve monitored your spending for a few weeks develop a budget from this. This is the 1 simple action that will control where your money is going.

By the time January comes along you will be more aware of your current financial situation – but don’t forget to keep some money spare for January’s extra expenses and bills as well.

2) Don’t fall for expensive payday loans

Although a quick fix, these click away short term loans will set you 10 steps backwards with the extremely high interest rates they charge. When strapped for cash our immediate reaction is to borrow so if you must, consider alternatives such as an overdraft or credit card.

3) Review borrowing options and your accounts

Fees are something we don’t usually look at – we just accept they are a necessity. Make some time over the holidays to evaluate your current accounts and loans and research better deals. Monthly account fees and interest charges while they may look small month to month can add up to thousands over the long term.

By taking advantage of reward credit cards, higher interest savings accounts and 0% balance transfers can all assist in reaching your financial goals quicker in 2015.

4) Automate your expenses

More and more we live in a paperless society. Save time and the stress of having to remember when all your expenses are due. Direct debit and automate all your expenses and if you have a separate savings account (which I highly recommend) automate this deposit too. It is also a good idea to arrange overdraft protection to save yourself from hefty bank fees just in case your account goes into the red.

Taking control of your money can seem overwhelming, but utilise this time of year to plan your finances and take action. Open that savings account, set up a savings plan or call around for a better insurance deal. When it comes to finances and other goals, change only happens with action and action is taking control. Commit yourself to set up a savings and financial plan for 2015 (which I will cover in another blog in the coming weeks).