Top Tips for Managing Your Finances Through 2020
The first half of 2020 has been dominated by financial anxiety for many. In the months ahead, a sound spending plan and some forward-thinking will be the best tools to counter financial fears.
The coronavirus outbreak has waylaid the best-made plans for the finances of many people, so successfully managing your money through 2020 is now looking to be much trickier than it was before. However, many of the same principles still apply.
Whether it’s saving for a rainy day or creating a budget to help you take control of where your money is going, managing your finances will help you stay on top of your bills and create a financial cushion for your future. You can start taking steps to become more financially literate at any time, so this guide will provide you with some tips on how to manage your money effectively in 2020.
Learn how to budget
Whether you choose to write out your budget with a pen and paper or you prefer to go digital and use a spreadsheet or an app, having a budget in place each month is vital to managing your money efficiently. Budgeting is a great way of seeing clearly what you have coming in and going out, so you can see if you’re overspending in a certain area and redirect that money to savings or debt payments.
Pay off your debts
Many people have additional payments to make each month in the form of loans or cards, so you should make 2020 the year that you tackle your debts. It makes sense to pay off the debts which charge the highest rate of interest first, and then pay off the rest afterwards. Some examples of debts you should look to pay off include credit cards, store cards which typically have a very high rate of interest, and personal loans.
It makes sense to pay off the debts which charge the highest rate of interest first, and then pay off the rest afterwards.
A good tip if you have a few debts is to list out all of the loans or cards you have, along with the minimum payments you need to make as per the terms of your agreement, and the interest rate. You can then categorise these from highest to lowest, so you have a clear view of what needs to be paid.
Monitor your credit rating
If you haven’t been checking your credit score on a regular basis, this is the year to start that habit. You can use online tools to get a free credit report that will show you any errors or potential fraud that you may be victim too, as well as give you a good overview of your finances. It’s important to have a good credit rating for larger future purchases such as a mortgage on a property, so it pays to check in every so often and see how you’re performing.
Consider your retirement
So many of us push the idea of saving for retirement to the bottom of our priority list because if feels like such a distant problem. But you can never start saving too early and having a plan in place from an early age will provide you with greater security when the time comes to leave your career.
Pension specialists Reeves Financial point out that “no matter how old you are it is never too late to think about financially planning for your retirement and paying into a pension scheme. It is actually a tax-efficient way of saving money”. So, if you’re currently without a pension plan, now is the time to do your research and set one up so you can begin preparing for the future.
Set up a savings goal
Some people can find it difficult to get motivated by savings, and it’s understandable – there are often things we want or need to spend our money on more immediately. But it’s often easier if you set a goal so you know what you’re working towards. The first step with any savings plan is to have emergency savings in place – money set aside should something happen out of the blue, such as your car breaking down or if your boiler breaks.
Aim to have two to three months’ worth of expenses set aside in an easy-to-access account for these moments. After you have that saved, you can think about longer-term goals you may have, such as taking a holiday, planning for extra money to have on hand when you have a child or for a wedding. You’ll be surprised how quickly your money piles up, even if you just save £50 a month towards your goals.
It can be all too easy to bury your head in the sand when it comes to money, particularly if you’re worried about your finances. But having control over your money and how you manage it is the best solution to help you tackle your worries head-on and plan for the future. With these tips, you’ll be in a great position by the end of the year to feel more financially secure and able to start building your nest egg.