You may be young and carefree, but none of us are immune to ageing. Life is unpredictable, and while this is exciting, it can also be scary. We all hope for a long and fulfilling life, but we never know what’s in store. It may seem boring to devote time to dealing with financial matters. But making the right decisions now can make all the difference further down the line. Are you keen to get your finances in order and plan for the future? If so, here are some sage steps you can take now.
Learn to budget
Budgeting is one of the best ways to keep an eye on your finances. Are you guilty of running out of money every month? Are you surprised every time you check your balance? Have you got no idea of what’s going out and what’s coming in? If so, a budget will help you organise your finances and control your spending. Budgeting is really simple, especially in this day and age. You can opt for traditional techniques and use a pen and paper or embrace innovation and download an app. Spreadsheets are also a great way of balancing the books.
When you’re drawing up a budget, start with your regular payments. Write down everything that comes out once a month. This may include a phone bill, council tax, and rent or mortgage payments, for example. Add any loan or credit card repayments. When you’ve done this, factor in one-off costs. Are you going on holiday or do you want to buy a new wardrobe or pay for the car to be fixed? Add extra costs, such as social events, and anything else you plan to spend money on. In another column, list everything that you have coming in. This will probably include your wages. You may also receive money for your birthday or as a Christmas present, for example. Once you’ve got figures for what you earn and what you spend, you can work out the difference. This will give you an accurate idea of how much money you have available each month. It’s a good idea to check your balance frequently to make sure you’re on track.
Set up a savings account
If you have money left over every month, do something constructive with it. If you tend to splash out on things you don’t really need, set up a direct debit. If you can put money away each month, you’ll soon build up a useful fund. Savings may come in handy when you’re putting down a deposit on a house, you need a new car, or you want to make home improvements. If you don’t have a savings account, do some research before you make a decision. You’ll find banks offer different rates and terms. Make sure you go for a flexible account if you’re likely to want to dip in and out.
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Pay into a pension scheme
When you’re young, you tend not to think about needing a pension. The days of retirement may seem a long way off, but it’s never too early to start planning ahead. The more you can save now, the better off you’ll be when you retire. If you haven’t already got a pension, ask your employer for more information about your work pension scheme. You’ll often find that your employer contributes, so it pays to get started as early as possible.
Invest in life insurance
Nobody wants to think about days when they’ll no longer be here. But there’s no getting away from the fact that we’re not immortal. Life insurance is a form of cover, which provides a payout when the policyholder dies. This lump sum can help to pay off debt, cover funeral costs and provide for the family. Life insurance can also give you peace of mind that your family will be protected if anything happens to you. If you search online for life insurance, you’ll find hundreds of different plans and providers. Use the Internet to compare options and work out which is best for you. You can set the level of cover, for example, up to 200 k coverage, fix the term and find a monthly fee that suits.
If you’re enjoying life, you may not give the future a thought, especially when it comes to your finances. You don’t have to start saving rigorously now, but it’s always good to have a plan. Try and ensure you’re taking the right steps to make your future more secure. Pay into a pension scheme and open a savings account. Investigate life insurance policies, and always take a few minutes to do a monthly budget.