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However, it is simpler than you might think when it is broken down into smaller steps. Here are some tips that can help you secure your future by managing your personal finances. For more detail about useful resources, there are financial experts who can assist you with this.

1. Understand Your Credit Score

Firstly, one of the most crucial parts of planning your personal finances is understanding the role that your credit score plays. Banks and money lending institutions typically use someone’s credit score to see how likely they are to repay a particular loan before approving their application. 

A higher score indicates that someone is more likely to repay the loan in full within the prescribed time. Because of this, it is worth knowing the ways that you can improve your credit score. This is typically done by paying off your regular bills such as rent and utilities on time. 

Whether that occurs at the start of the month or the end, make sure that you are setting reminders to pay your bills when they are due. This allows you to avoid any outstanding debts that can lead to a poor credit score over time. 

2. Set A Realistic Budget

Similarly, setting a realistic budget is a useful way of keeping track of your spending and figuring out how to save a little money for the future. Many people try to set a strict budget that is difficult to follow, but the best way to secure your future through financial planning is to make gradual changes over time. 

This way, you can create a habit of saving without stressing over meeting certain goals immediately. Consider brainstorming what items you spend money on during a typical month, then decide if each is a want or a need. 

Impulsive purchases can be challenged in this way, and it can also allow you to find more affordable utility providers if the majority of your income is being spent on bills. It could also be worth cancelling certain payments that you don’t use, like a subscription service or gym membership, if you don’t use it. 

Once you have taken a look at all of your options, you can use budgeting resources to assign your regular income to certain items. This allows you to see how much money you will have leftover and holds you accountable to stick to your budget. 

3. Establish Saving Goals

After setting a budget for yourself with realistic allocations of money, it is important to think about your savings. You should try to set aside small amounts to put towards your savings each month if possible. There are a range of different savings accounts available with most banks, and it is worth looking into the different options. 

Setting savings goals for yourself can allow you to keep track of your savings, and consider the end goal. For some, this could be a deposit on their dream home. While others may prefer to keep their savings for emergencies. 

Consider thinking about what is essential to you, and what type of thing you want to start saving for. This can be a great way to encourage better financial habits over time, by working towards your savings goals. 

4. Prioritise

Another thing to keep in mind when you are changing your relationship with money is that you should prioritise. This means putting your long-term financial goals to one side if you are struggling to make ends meet each month. There is no point in putting yourself into debt if it can be avoided, and you should make sure that you can afford your current lifestyle. 

During the budgeting process, something to consider is what is important to you. This should be prioritised if possible, or it could be used to motivate your savings habits. Avoid impulsive purchases by reminding yourself what you are working towards, and your financial goals for the future. 

5. Pay Off Debt

One of the biggest contributors to poor credit scores is outstanding debt. This is because so many people find themselves unable to pay their regular bills and the instalments on an outstanding loan. Consider prioritising your debt repayments if possible, and start working towards a healthier credit score over time. Debt consolidation loans are great for someone who has multiple debts that need to be paid. 

This is because they typically pay off the amount needed for each loan repayment, and help simplify the process by being a single repayment that you need to budget for, rather than multiple. If it is possible, try to pay off any outstanding debt in order to stop your credit score from getting worse over time. 

6. Consider Insurance

Additionally, it could be worth getting insurance for your assets in order to protect yourself and your loved ones. Make sure you are insuring all of your property where possible in order to avoid significant fees in the future. Home insurance helps by providing access to repair fees when needed. For example, if your home gets severely damaged in a storm, and you need to replace the roof urgently. Insurance can help cover some of the fees required, which will prevent you from falling into debt in the long run. 

Summary

When it comes to changing your financial habits, it can be hard to know where to start. Because of this, budgeting and understanding the role that your credit score plays can allow you to create more sustainable habits in the future. 

Consider taking a closer look at your current spending habits, and identify certain items that you can save money on. It is also worth making use of online resources to find the right budgeting tool for you. Saving for the future can allow you to feel closer to your financial goals, like a vacation or wedding.

Business data from the Office of National Statistics showed that a total of 100,835 businesses in the UK closed in the third quarter of 2021, a 50% increase from closures in the third quarter of 2020. To protect themselves against global crises and other unexpected events, businesses need to learn how to manage their finances wisely. That means staying on top of payments, organising cash flow, and optimising business expenses. So, with that in mind, the following tips can help small to medium enterprises manage their money.

Step 1: Monitor Income And Expenses

Every business should have a good handle on where its money goes. As we mentioned in ‘7 Ways to Cut Your Business Expenses’, keeping track of income and expenses helps you identify whether you are allocating your resources wisely. Understanding your expenses can help you figure out how to cut down later on.

Start by saving all receipts, both digital and physical. From there, find a place to store transactional data. Less tech-savvy businesses tend to use spreadsheets, but those that want to streamline the process can use cloud accounting software, such as Quickbooks, Freshbooks, and Xero. High-quality accounting software can integrate with your bank accounts to automatically import your transaction history into a comprehensive bank feed.

Step 2: Create A Budget

Once you’ve identified key spending areas, it’s time to make a smarter spending plan. Here’s where budgeting comes in. According to AskMoney’s guide to budgeting, the first step to building a business budget is to use historical income data to create accurate revenue forecasts. Once you’ve estimated how much you might make each month, figure out which expenses you can cut down to maximise profit.

Be sure to be realistic about reductions — if you resort to lower-quality services just to save, you might end up losing more money in the long run. For example, a restaurant that sources cheaper but lower quality appliances might have to spend more on replacements or repairs later down the line.

Step 3: Control Spending

Making a spending plan is one thing, sticking to it is another. Fortunately, many modern banking apps come with features that help you control spending according to your budget. The online bank Monzo, which won the award for Best British Bank in 2022, has a feature called Tax Pots. Monzo’s Tax Pots tool lets you divide income into dedicated expense categories — such as a pot for payroll, a pot for operating expenses, and a pot for taxes. By creating separate cash reserves and giving each a clear purpose, you can allocate revenue effectively and prevent overspending.

Step 4: Put Savings Back Into The Business

Once you’ve controlled your spending, it’s time to figure out what to do with all your extra cash. The smartest business move would be to invest in growth. Put your savings into things that can help your business make more money in the future. A delivery business, for example, can use savings to buy new delivery vehicles, which expands their capacity to take orders.

You can also use savings to diversify your business income. Place money into stocks, bonds, or other securities. This way, if unexpected events cause operations to slow down, the business has extra income to turn to.

At the end of the day, it’s important not to let poor money management prevent your business from reaching its full potential. Through expense tracking, budgeting, spending control, and investment, businesses can take their income further and make a bigger impact.

But how do you do that when there is so much to handle? After all, you need to ensure that all employees are paid on time, that your inventory is well-stocked, and that you have enough cash flow to keep the lights on. The key to proper business finance management is organisation and planning. If you find it challenging to keep your business finances in check, consider using some of the following tips to get yourself on track.

Keep A Close Eye On Your Cash Flow

One of the most critical aspects of business finance is cash flow. This is the money coming in and going out of your company daily. You need to understand your cash flow to manage your finances correctly. Several software programs and apps can help you track your cash flow, so take advantage of them.

Also, with cash flow, you need to be proactive, not reactive. You can set up a system to log all incoming and outgoing payments. This way, you'll be able to see exactly where your money is going and make adjustments accordingly.

Get A Loan Only When Necessary

One of the biggest mistakes small business owners make is taking out loans when they're not necessary. Loans should only be used as a last resort, as they can put your business in a difficult financial situation. If you need to take out a loan, shop around and get the best interest rate possible.

There are many different ways to finance your small business. Be sure to explore all of your options before taking out a loan. If you decide to get a small business loan, you may want to talk to a reliable commercial finance broker to get the best deal possible. Plus, they can negotiate on your behalf to get you the best possible interest rate. They often have access to lenders that offer more favourable terms than banks.

Create A Budget And Stick To It

One of the best ways to manage your business finances is to create a budget and stick to it. It may seem daunting, but it's pretty simple. Start by looking at your income and expenses for the past year. Then, create a budget based on this information. Include a buffer for unexpected expenses and some wiggle room for your monthly expenses.

Once you have your budget created, be sure to stick to it. It might not be easy, but it's important to remember that your budget is designed to help you save money. If you find yourself struggling to stick to your budget, consider using some of the cash flow tips mentioned above.

Get A Handle On Your Inventory

Another critical aspect of business finance is inventory management. If you're not keeping track of your inventory, you're losing money. Period. That's why it's essential to have a system that allows you to track what you have in stock and what needs to be ordered. Several software programs can help you keep track of your inventory levels. Also, consider hiring an inventory management specialist if you find it challenging to keep track of your inventory on your own.

Keep Track Of Your Receivables

If you're not keeping track of your receivables, you could be in for a nasty surprise. Receivables are the payments that you've invoiced but have not yet received. To correctly manage your business finances, you need to keep track of your receivables and pay them on time.

You can track your receivables by setting up a system where all invoices are logged. This way, you'll see which invoices have been paid and which ones are still outstanding. You can also set up reminder emails or text messages to help you keep track of your receivables.

Use Financial Reports To Your Advantage

These reports can be a great way to handle your business finances. These reports can show you where your money is coming from and where it's going. This information can be beneficial when making financial decisions for your business.

To create financial reports, you'll need to use accounting software. This software will allow you to track all of your income and expenses and generate reports. Be sure to take advantage of the available reports, as they can be a great way to handle your business finances.

Have A Separate Business Bank Account

It's essential to have a separate bank account for your business. It will help you keep track of your business expenses and income and help you manage your cash flow. Having a different business bank account will also make it easier to get a business loan, as lenders will look at your business bank account when considering you for a loan.

Have A Plan For Slow Periods

All businesses have slow periods, so it's essential to have a plan for how you'll manage your finances during these times. One option is to take out a line of credit or resort to inventory financing. It can give you some breathing room financially, and you can use it to cover expenses during slow periods.

Another option is to create a reserve fund. This is a fund that you can dip into when times are tough. To create a reserve fund, start by setting aside a portion of your profits each month. Then, only use this money when necessary.

Spread Out Tax Payments

If you have a lot of taxes to pay, it can be helpful to spread out your payments. This way, you won't have to come up with a large lump sum of money all at once. You can arrange quarterly tax payments by setting up an instalment plan with the IRS. You'll need to fill out Form 9465 and submit it to the IRS. Be sure to include your estimated tax liability on this form.

You can also make estimated tax payments throughout the year by filling out Form 1040-ES. This is a good option if you expect to owe more than $1,000 in taxes. 

Managing your business finances can be a challenge, but it's vital to ensure that your finances are in order. Create a budget, track your receivables, and use financial reports. You should also get a loan only when necessary and have a plan for slow periods. By following these tips, you can get your business finances on track.

 

1. Map Out Your Goals

Think about your financial goals, now and in five-year increments. Maybe you want to travel for three months. Or, maybe you want to start a family or buy a new home. Once you write down your goals, you need to prioritise them according to importance. Decide which one of your wants is easiest to achieve and which will take longer. The ones you put at the top of the list are the most important.

If buying a new home in a year is your number one goal, you will need to make a down payment. You could dip into your savings, or you could look into getting a life settlement. A life settlement is when you sell your policy to a third-party buyer. In turn, you receive a portion of the total cash value. The third-party then becomes the owner of the policy. If you’re not sure how the process works, there are guides that go over the best life insurance settlement companies so you can find a reputable company that fits your needs.

2. Put Your Plan In Motion

Once you flesh out your plan, you need to put it in motion. You need to set realistic milestones for each goal and then create a strategy to surpass them. If you’re trying to pay off a high-interest credit card, where can you cut corners in other areas? If you work out at the gym, you could start exercising at home. On average, you could be saving up to $50 dollars a month just by getting in shape at home. You could then put that money onto your credit card to lower the interest rate and pay off the balance. There are plenty of other ways to save money, which include bundling your insurances, shopping for off brands and clipping coupons. You can also buy gently used clothing instead of new clothing. Now, you can buy high-end clothing and accessories for a fraction of the cost online.

3. Create A Budget

Everyone says they have a budget, but how many people actually stick to it? Look at your finances and see which areas you’re having the most trouble with. Create a new budget, which aligns with your goals, and think of strategic ways to stick with it. Note, your budget doesn’t need to be so strict that you can’t have any spending money. You can set up automatic money transfers from your checking account into your savings. That way, you won’t be tempted to overspend. You can also set up your savings account so there’s a limit on how many withdrawals you can make within a month.

4. Reward Yourself

Once you reach your goals, don’t forget to reward yourself. It’s easy to get so caught up in saving that you might forget to treat yourself.

Business growth consultant Daniel Groves shares his tips for saving more money. 

1. Commit To Cash-Only Purchasing 

Did you know that people spend more when swiping a credit card than they do when paying with cash? The “buy now, pay later” mentality of the credit card encourages financial negligence, causing many people to neglect careful monitoring of their spending. This can lead to mounting debt and diminishing savings. 

Furthermore, having bad credit can affect your future plans, from added complications when buying your first home, to renting a car. If you’re able to commit to cash-only purchases you’ll de-risk yourself from added complications later in life. A bad credit rating can scupper your future plans, affecting everything from phone contracts to car insurance and even your mortgage. If you’re able to commit to cash-only purchases for a while, you’ll de-risk yourself from added complications later in life. Of course, you will need to have taken credit to really improve your rating, but the longer you can save money and avoid debt the better.

One significant benefit of committing to cash purchasing is that you won’t spend money you don’t have. If you’ve only got £20 in your wallet, you can’t buy something that costs £25. It’s as simple as that. 

If you want to save more money, committing to cash-only purchasing is a great way to go. It will significantly reduce your spending, encourage you to be more money-conscious, and also help avoid the problem of debt. 

2. Track All The Money You Spend 

Can you honestly say that you know where all of your money goes each month? Sure, you might know how much your Netflix subscription is or the rough cost of your groceries each week, but do you know exactly how much money is going out from your account each month? 

Tracking your expenditure is a sure-fire way to take control of your spending. When you know how much is coming in and going out each month, it is easier to create a budget you can realistically stick to. What’s more, it is easier to set aside money in savings. 

Thankfully, tracking all the money you spend doesn’t require a printed spreadsheet and a pen. Nowadays there’s an app for everything - and that includes your online banking. Online banking apps like Monzo and Mint allow you to track your spending, categorise it, and stay in control of your finances. It’s a small change that can make a whole lot of difference and, really, it couldn’t be easier. 

3. Ditch The Big Brands 

We have all heard the rumours that ditching the big supermarket brands and opting to purchase the finest range of the Aldi specials can help save money, but how many of us are actually doing it? 

Ditching the big brands in favour of more affordable versions can save a significant amount on your weekly grocery bill. It might not sound like a big change, but think about how often you go to the grocery store. You will likely make £50 or more in monthly savings from that change alone. That’s a significant boost for your savings account and is a small change that can have a big difference. 

4. Monthly Roundup 

This might seem like a counterintuitive notion, but sometimes you’ve got to spend money to make money. Weird, right? Well, not with the monthly roundup many banks are now offering. The monthly roundup saves your pennies by rounding up what you’ve just spent to the nearest pound. So, say for example sake you bought a coffee and it cost you £2.75 your monthly roundup would put that £0.25p straight into savings. It’s that simple. 

Now, £0.25p being put into your savings account doesn’t seem like very much at all. In fact, you’re probably thinking it will have very little difference whatsoever. However, the roundup feature can be applied to every payment that goes out of your account. So, you could literally save hundreds of pounds every single year. If you want to boost your savings account without even realising it, we highly recommend the roundup feature. 

5. Eat Fresh And Stay Healthy 

Whenever people see adverts encouraging them to “eat fresh!” The assumption is that it’s extremely expensive to do. However, this actually couldn’t be further from the truth. Cooking fresh homemade meals is a lifestyle change that can save you money in more ways than one. It is possible to eat well on a budget. For example, you can visit the reduced section in supermarkets where fresh vegetables and bags of salad are often being sold for under £1. You can also grow your own vegetables at home. These are both small savings that can save you a lot of money in the long run. 

What’s more, eating fresh and prioritising healthy, home-cooked meals over highly processed foods and high-fat takeaways is one of the best ways to stay healthy for longer. And the healthier you are, the less money you are having to fork out for various treatments and medications. So, eating fresh is twofold. It will benefit both your wallet and your health. 

6. Save Your Fivers 

This lifestyle change can have a significant impact on your savings account. Again, this is a very small and simple lifestyle change that can make a huge difference to your finances. Every time you get a £5 note (whether change from a coffee shop or found in a jacket pocket), put it in a jar. If you do this throughout the month and then take that jar to the bank, you could have saved as much as £1,000. What’s more, simply being able to physically see the money adding up in the jar can be a great motivation to keep saving for longer. 

7. Keep An Eye Out For Deals 

There are deals and discounts everywhere, all you have to do is look for them. Whether you’re going out for dinner or heading to the cinema with friends, have a quick search online for any deals that may be available. You will be surprised how often discounts and special offers are available. Keeping an eye out for deals is a great way to make those little savings throughout the month that can go a long way towards boosting your finances. 

Final Words 

So, there you have it - 7 lifestyle changes you can make to save more money. As you can see, the changes we recommend aren’t drastic but they can have a huge impact on your savings. I hope this article has provided you with some inspiration and motivated you to start saving. 

From the meticulous levels of organisation to creating careful hiring strategies, there are a huge number of caveats to consider and decisions to navigate when trying to scale your business and ultimately, become successful.

One of the most important examples of this is your finances – the money your business has available - to not only get up and running but also sustain it throughout the initial period. Managing finances correctly is imperative to ensuring long-term success, and without taking the time to carefully think about how to correctly maintain the finances of your start-up, you could end up in trouble a lot sooner than you might think. So, to help stop this from happening to you, we thought we’d lend a helping hand. Join us as we run through some of the key things you should and shouldn’t do when trying to finance your start-up business.  

Do: Understand the tax implications involved

Regardless of the size or nature of your start-up business, there is one financial implication you simply can’t avoid: tax. From the income tax your employees pay to the national insurance contributions you make personally, it is vital to understand which types of tax you will be liable for – and why. Corporation tax, for example, is a form of tax payable on the profits your business makes as a limited company. This is typically charged at a single rate of 19% but can vary depending on where your company is registered. If, for example, you were registered overseas in Gibraltar, your corporation tax rate would be lower at 12.5%. Therefore, if you aren’t sure which types of tax you will owe, or how to work out what your tax liability will be, it could be worth getting clued up by speaking to a professional within the country you operate in. 

Don’t: Forget to reclaim your business expenses

Since money will most likely be fairly tight to begin with, the last thing you will want to do is miss out on being able to reclaim any expenses you incur while building up your business. There are, after all, a wide variety of things you can and can't claim for expenses on, so it's important to know the difference. Otherwise, you could unintentionally be leaving yourself vulnerable to committing tax fraud. 

Listed below are some of the key things to be wary about, helping you save those precious pennies during the early stages:

Do: Draw up a budget

A start-up business often spends more than it earns for the first two to three years. Therefore, the amount of financing you need may continue to increase even after you've finally broken even. As such, it's important to draw up a budget in line with your business plan, outlining your sales forecasts, potential expenditure and capital costs. This should be realistic and allow for contingency funding if the worst were to happen – whether that be your website being hacked or a product launch being delayed.

Similarly, this budget should identify the types of borrowing that suit your business model – both long-term and short-term. From sourcing loans to arranging overdrafts, it's imperative to know what you can and can't afford, only ever entering into financial arrangements that are practical.

Don't: Forget to check the small print

If something sounds a little too good to be true then, in all likelihood, it probably is. Therefore, it always pays to double-check the small print of any loan or financial agreements that you decide to sign up to.

Whether it be the overall term of the loan, the proposed APR after a set period of months or the total number of payments you're expected to make, the last thing you want is to be caught out by anyone you owe money to. 

About the author: Annie Button is a professional content writer and branding aficionado. 

This is a key component in understanding debt and its potential impact on your life. For your convenience, we’ve put together a short list of things you can do to disaster-proof your finances. 

1. Make Sure You’re Properly Insured

There are a few types of insurance that help disaster-proof your finances. The first is one we don’t like to think about: life insurance. It’s more for the family members that you leave behind than for you personally, but you should have it, especially as you start a family of your own. Protect your loved ones from the crushing debt that often comes after a major household earner passes away. Other insurances you should include are medical insurance and homeowners’ insurance if applicable. If you’re getting on in years, you might also want to consider long-term care insurance to cover nursing homes or LTC facilities. These are all areas where unexpected expenses can run several thousand dollars, so it’s worth paying the premiums.  

2. Create A Budget So You Know What Your Expenses Are

Spending money without knowing exactly how much you can afford to spend is a surefire path to financial devastation. Spending a few hours creating a budget can prevent this. Make a list of all your expenses, even the small and infrequent ones. Compare that to how much income you have coming in. The remainder is what you have left over to work with. (You can eliminate unnecessary expenses if you’d like to have more flexibility for emergencies, savings, or paying off debt.) As part of this process, put together a savings plan. It’s prudent to have an emergency account that you can draw off when life throws you curveballs. It’s also a good idea to start an investment portfolio and a retirement savings account. These give you an added security blanket and can help ensure financial stability in your golden years.  

3. Avoid “Get Rich Quick” Schemes

Hitting the lottery is not a financial plan. Play if you like, but don’t count on winning that big jackpot to cover your living expenses. Life generally doesn’t work that way. Disaster-proofing your finances requires hard work, not a random game of chance. That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t play, just make sure lotto tickets are in your budget. This same principle applies to “business” opportunities that look like get rich quick schemes. If it looks too good to be true, it probably is. Carefully review any business venture and make sure income estimates are realistic. Don’t be that person who fails because you believed the hype about something you saw on the internet.

4. Don’t Buy What You Can’t Afford

This is the simplest suggestion on this list and maybe the most difficult to implement. We all want that bigger house or nicer car. The question is, “can you afford it?” Just because the bank will approve you for the loan or mortgage doesn’t mean you should follow through with it. Taking on too much debt can make your finances unmanageable. 

Life is full of surprises. Some of them are pleasant and others can cause financial disaster. It’s best to be prepared for anything, and the suggestions above should help you do just that. 

About the author: Kevin Flynn is a former fintech coach and financial services professional. When not on the golf course, he can be found travelling with his wife or spending time with their eight wonderful grandchildren and two cats. 

Find A Part-time Job

To earn more money, many students start working during their studies. Combining full-time employment with learning isn’t a possibility for most students, but freelance and part-time jobs could be an excellent solution. However, even working a part-time job alongside your studies can impact your academic performance. If you find yourself struggling to complete academic assignments, you may want to consider finding a trustworthy essays order service and pay for essay in a couple of taps. This simple trick will help you get your papers done before the deadline. Moreover, you will have more free time for working and hobbies. As a result, you will get an opportunity to earn more. 

Garage Sale 

If you need to boost your funds quickly, then arranging a garage sale could be a good option. Most of us have tons of things that we no longer use and might as well sell them for cash instead of keeping our cupboards cluttered. Selling items you no longer can significantly help to boost your budget.

Cut Your Expenses 

How many times per week do you usually visit clubs and restaurants? If you’re short on money, it’s time to cut your expenses. However, you don’t have to miss out on the fun completely. Next time you’re out clubbing, for example, buy just one drink instead of two or three. Instead of saying no to nights out completely simply set yourself spending limits and don’t feel pressured into spending more than what you’ve allowed. Excessive partying is an all-too-quick way to see an empty bank account. 

Set Limits For Buying Apps and Games 

Making online payments when playing games is a common thing for any student. Many students make plenty of purchases to improve their gaming performance and win more often. However, if you feel you don’t have enough money to cover your needs, it’s time to set limits. Only allow yourself to spend a certain amount each month. If it helps, write your limit down on a sheet of paper as a reminder to yourself. 

Buy Used Books 

Buying books brand new can be incredibly expensive. Second-hand books can be bought for a fraction of the price and assist your learning just as well as glossy new ones. 

Use Loans Wisely 

Many people believe that loans and credit cards lead to excessive debt, especially for students who often aren’t familiar with the full dangers of having too many loans. The best solution is to avoid taking out any loans unless you need the money for something really important. In this case, it is better to choose bank loans with a minimum interest rate. Shop around for the best deal by comparing various interest rates, and don’t be too hasty when signing on the dotted line. 

Look For Financial Aid 

Many government and financial organisations, as well as colleges and universities, offer financial aid to different categories of students. These are grants, scholarships, and other solutions that might cover a significant part of your expenses related to learning. For example, some institutions offer help with buying books or will consider reducing your tuition fees. Don’t hesitate to participate in different scholarship programmes and look for grants from non-profitable organisations in your local area. 

Organise Your Expenses 

Planning and managing your monthly expenses is a key solution to getting your spending under control. Try to write down and monitor each of your expenses and split them into several categories to understand what you are mostly spending money on. This way, you will be able to cut some of your outlay and save money. 

Saving money and improving your financial situation when studying at college is easier than you might think. Try to organise your expenses, avoid unnecessary loans, look for financial aid, buy used items, and limit your spending on partying and going to cafes and restaurants. Moreover, having a part-time job will also allow you to get more money to meet all your individual needs. 

Nic Redfern, finance director at NerdWallet, lays out his predictions for what the Government's priorities will be in the 2021 Spring Budget.

In spite of falling infection rates and the successful rollout of the vaccination programme, the Government is exercising extreme caution in its plans to lift lockdown restrictions.

This approach is understandable. Within the previous 12 months, the UK has faced three national lockdowns, as well as tiered regional restrictions. Keen to avoid a fourth lockdown, Prime Minister Boris Johnson has stressed that the route out of the third lockdown will be gradual, yet irreversible.

Such caution also means that many UK businesses – particularly those within the hospitality, leisure and retail sectors – will remain unable to reopen their doors for several weeks. Consequently, the 2021 Spring Budget is set to be dominated by “continued emergency support” for such organisations.

So, what sort of support can UK businesses expect to be announced by the Chancellor Rishi Sunak on 3 March?

Business rate holiday extension

The Great British high street has been on a well-documented decline over the past decade. However, the pandemic has exacerbated the struggles of bricks and mortar retailer outlets.

Conversely, COVID-19 has facilitated an eCommerce boom as UK consumers, unable to leave their homes, have become more reliant on online shopping. For example, the sales of Amazon UK’s wholesalers rose by an astonishing 51% last year. Put another way: it is predominantly merchants reliant on footfall and instore transactions that have felt the effects of the pandemic the hardest.

COVID-19 has facilitated an eCommerce boom as UK consumers, unable to leave their homes, have become more reliant on online shopping.

Consequently, it is expected that the Chancellor will extend the business rates holiday in an attempt to boost high street stores. Initially intended to end in April 2021, Mr Sunak has come under increasing pressure to extend the holiday for another 12 months.

It is yet to be confirmed exactly how long the business rates holiday will be extended for. However, I anticipate that it will at least extend until non-essential shops, pubs and leisure venues are allowed to fully open.

Extending the business rates holiday will also mean that the Chancellor is likely to hold off on announcing any reform to the business taxation system on Budget day. Last year, a review was launched into “levelling the playing field” between high street and online retailers; for example, introducing online sales tax, targeting tech and eCommerce giants is under consideration. Such changes would have likely been welcomed by high street businesses; however, any concrete decision will likely be postponed until the economy is on a more stable footing.

Nevertheless, while the Chancellor’s immediate priority will be the business rates holiday itself, it is important to note that we could see more dramatic changes to business taxation under this government.

A review of the furlough scheme 

The furlough scheme has undeniably helped to safeguard the livelihoods of millions of employees. According to figures from HMRC, a total of 1.2 million employers had placed staff on furlough, as of December 2020 – costing the government £46 billion.

The Government initially planned for furlough to be a short-term scheme, with the intention being to end the initiative altogether in November 2020 and replace it with a new Job Support Scheme. However, rising infection rates and stricter lockdown measures meant that this could not happen, and the furlough was extended. It is now scheduled to end on 30 April 2021.

The furlough scheme has undeniably helped to safeguard the livelihoods of millions of employees.

With the Prime Minister’s roadmap making it clear that many non-essential organisations will be unable to open until summer, there have been inevitable calls for the scheme to be extended even further.

I expect the Chancellor to use the Budget to announce such an extension – at least for more vulnerable sectors such as hospitality, retail or leisure. Of course, the furlough scheme is expensive; difficult decisions regarding how to pay for it must be made in the near future. However, Mr Sunak will be aware that ending vital support such before vulnerable businesses are able to properly reopen will jeopardise their long-term survival.

Possible extension of the CBILS 

The Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS) provides small and medium sized businesses access to loans and other forms of finance up to £5 million. The Government guarantees up to 80% of the finance to the lender, whilst also paying interest and additional fees over the first twelve months.

This has offered some welcome financial breathing space for many organisations as they attempt to rebuild, post-COVID. However, the scheme is scheduled to end on 31 March.

Perhaps unsurprisingly, the deadline has been met with opposition; a recent poll revealed that almost a third (31%) of businesses are keen to see the scheme extended.

However, Mr Sunak has stressed that businesses will receive more support beyond March 2021. So, whilst it is unclear whether the CBILS will be extended, the promise of further support should offer some comfort to businesses.

Support for the self-employed  

Throughout the pandemic, the Government has received criticism for excluding many self-employed people from its financial support schemes.

It did introduce the Self-Employed Income Support Scheme (SEISS), which offered relief to some. However, those who earned over £50,000 a year, paid themselves in dividends, or recently became self-employed were not eligible. This resulted in approximately 2 million people being unable to access financial support.

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There are rumours that the Government is planning to extend the eligibility criteria of the SEISS, ensuring recently self-employed individuals are able to apply for the grant. Such an extension seems sensible. After all, the self-employed contributed £305 billion to the UK economy in 2019 alone; the Government cannot allow such a prominent economic force fall by the wayside.

It is evident that the Government’s focus for the Budget will be continuing its emergency support schemes for UK businesses. In particular, it is vital that the Chancellor focusses his efforts on safeguarding vulnerable sectors and organisations – those that have been worst impacted and those that will take some time to reopen fully.

Retail, hospitality, leisure businesses, as well the self-employed, have all faced significant challenges throughout the previous 12 months. And without adequate help, their long-term survival will be jeopardised. The Budget is an ideal opportunity to deliver further life support to organisations that need it, easing the transition out of what everyone hopes will be the final lockdown.

While delivering the government’s spending review for 2020, UK chancellor Rishi Sunak cautioned that the “economic emergency” caused by the COVID-19 pandemic was just beginning.

“Our health emergency is not yet over and our economic emergency has only just begun,” he said, adding that his priority was to “protect people’s lives and livelihood”.

The chancellor’s warning came as the Office for Budget Responsibility estimated that the UK economy will contract by 11.3% by the end of 2020, the country’s largest recorded fall in output for 300 years. Unemployment is also expected to peak at 2.6 million in 2021 and remain above pre-pandemic levels until 2024 at the earliest.

Chancellor Sunak said that departmental spending would be £540 billion next year, up 3.8%. He also promised a “once in a generation investment in infrastructure” towards schools, hospitals and roads, which the government would spend £100 billion on next year. £3 billion in additional funding will be earmarked for the NHS. Government borrowing will rise to almost £400 billion, reaching its highest level outside of wartime, to finance these projects.

The government’s foreign aid budget will also be cut, and there will be a “targeted” pay freeze on public sector workers, the chancellor said, from which the NHS and lowest paid workers will be exempted.

In other news of note from the spending review, the chancellor said that he had accepted the Low Pay Commission’s recommendation that the minimum wage – now rebranded as the National Living Wage – be increased by 2.2% up to £8.91 per hour. It will also be extended to those aged 23 and over, down from the current age of 25, and the minimum age for younger workers will be increased as well.

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"The chancellor will need to find £20 billion to £30 billion in spending cuts or tax rises if he wants to balance revenues and day-to-day spending, and stop debt rising by the end of this parliament,” noted Richard Hughes, chairman of the Office for Budget Responsibility, following the spending review.

In a statement on Tuesday, the Labor Department reported that its consumer price index rose by 0.6% last month, the largest net monthly gain since August 2012. The price increase follows an easing of 0.1% in May, and exceeds the rise of 0.5% predicted by economists polled by Reuters.

The increase coincides with the reopening of non-essential retailers and other businesses throughout the country, and continued anti-coronavirus stimulus spending that has driven the US budget deficit as high as $3 trillion over the past 12 months.

A hike in the cost of gasoline accounted for over half of the resurgence in consumer spending, with energy prices as a whole rising by 5.1% and gasoline itself rising by 12.3%. However, gas pump prices remain 23.% lower than they were a year ago.

Having risen by 0.7% in May, food prices also saw a further increase of 0.6% in June, contributing to the shift in the Labor Department’s index. Core inflation also rose by 1.2%, far below the Federal Reserve’s target of 2% in annual inflation gains.

It is yet unclear how the consumer price index will be affected by the decision of several states to reverse their reopening plans in late June and early July following a resurgence in COVID-19 cases.

The US economy has been struck dramatically by the COVID-19 pandemic, with the economy entering a recession in February and April seeing the greatest single-month fall in consumer spending since the 2008 financial crisis.

If there's a single challenge that's central to the successful operation of a non-profit, it's finding a way to keep the organisation on sound financial footing. Unlike conventional businesses, they're reliant on external revenue streams that are often difficult to predict, and even harder to maintain. That overall condition of financial insecurity also introduces countless other management challenges as well. A lack of funding keeps budgets tight, makes it hard to attract the most talented workers, and forces infrastructure needs to take a backseat to daily operating expenses.

That doesn't mean, however, that non-profits are doomed to struggle with bottom-line woes. Far from it. Some of the most financially successful organisations in the world are in the non-profit sector, and it's not an accident that they got to where they are. What it took for them to do it was for their managers to engage in sound non-profit financial strategies that help to contain their operating costs, secure their funding sources, and get them connected with the right sponsors. For early-stage non-profit managers, here are the first four steps to take.

Establish Strong Internal Budget Controls

The first step on the road to non-profit financial stability is for management to institute strong internal processes and controls over where, how, and when money is spent. That's necessary for a variety of reasons. The first of them is the fact that non-profits are often subject to stricter audit requirements due to the nature of the tax-exempt status they enjoy at both the state and federal level. Failure to account for where money's being spent can threaten the very existence of the organisation. At the same time, non-profits are also answerable to their board of directors and their donors regarding their financial performance, so it's critical to make sure that the accounting fundamentals are covered from day one.

Failure to account for where money's being spent can threaten the very existence of the organisation.

Build Solid Corporate Partnerships

If you were to examine the finances of almost any well-established non-profit, the one thing you'd find that they have in common is the fact that they derive a significant percentage of their finances from a variety of corporate sponsors. The reason this is so is the fact that corporate funding (when it's available) tends to provide a more predictable funding stream than relying on event-based fundraising or individual donors. Since businesses need to manage their own budgets, they plan for expenditures well in advance and that gives the non-profit beneficiary the ability to create budget forecasts that run much closer to real-world results. Since predictability roughly equals stability, that makes developing corporate sponsorships one of the most important early-stage efforts that every non-profit should undertake.

Look for Hits-Based Early Funders

The classic catch-22 that young non-profits face is that they can't qualify for major grants or government funding sources because they lack the track record to prove themselves a responsible steward of those funds. And of course, without those funds, they can't build a track record. To overcome that early obstacle, non-profits have few viable paths to take. One is to find a wealthy individual to serve as a co-founder of the organisation and to rely on them for early-stage funding. The second is to look for philanthropic organisations that support hits-based giving.

It's a philosophy championed by organisations like The Open Philanthropy Project, who focus their giving on non-profits that pursue a high-risk, high-reward approach to the problems they hope to address. That means they're willing to provide funding to non-profit startups with no track record, provided they hold the promise of making a big impact if successful in their efforts. Today, hits-based giving can form the core of a non-profit's early financial strategy, so seeking out opportunities in this area is always advisable.

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Recruit Board Members with Financial Expertise

The final thing that non-profits should do to achieve and maintain financial stability is to try to recruit as many board members as possible that have financial experience in their professional backgrounds. This is something that many non-profits neglect to do at their own peril, often because they believe recruiting like-minded and cause-committed board members are more desirable. Although recruiting board members who share a passion for the work is necessary, it's just as necessary to bring in people with the right connections and experience to see the organisation through its early challenges. Since maintaining the non-profit's finances is a primary concern, so too should finding financially capable board members be early on.

A Strong Bottom Line

Any non-profit that works to put these four steps into practice early in its operation should find itself in a good financial position in very little time. Of course, how the organisation actually uses its resources is another matter entirely. If the cause is a good one, though, finding dedicated, intelligent people to put those resources to good use shouldn't pose any significant problems. With the right foundation in place, there's no limit to how much good a non-profit can do – and they'll enjoy years of financially-sound operation while doing it.

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