It can often feel like we are out of control of our money. It might feel like we are always struggling to pay for everything that we need and have nothing left for what we want or we just find that we are always worrying about money. By being more in control of your money you can resolve a lot of these or make them easier and there are different things that you can do which will help.
Keep Household Accounts
The first step is to start keeping household accounts. If you can write down the details of all the money that you have coming in and all the things that you are spending money on it will allow you to be aware of what is going on. It can be easy to spend money without really noticing what you are doing and even to have direct debits and standing orders set up that you have forgotten about. As well as bringing these things to your awareness, you will also be able to see how much you are paying or various things and you may not have realised quite how much you are paying for different things. Therefore, it can be really enlightening and you may be spurred on to change some of your behaviour as a result of just seeing what you re spending money on and how much you are spending.
Check You are not Overpaying for Things
It can be wise to start comparing prices on the different things that you buy to check that you are not paying more than necessary. Switching to a different insurer, electricity supplier or whatever can save a significant amount of money and is really easy to do. You will not have to do a lot to get it switched over and you could save a significant amount of money. It can be a good idea to look at the prices of everything you buy and see if you can pay less for it. You could save a lot of money even if you just make a small saving on each item. Why pay more than necessary? You could end up saving a lot of money.
Consider if your Need Everything you Buy
It is also worth looking at the different items that you buy and making sure that you really need them all. We often buy things that we do not really need and possibly that we never use and so it is good to think about whether we really need it all. This is not about depriving yourself of things you really like and that bring you a lot of pleasure but it is about thinking about the worth of the different items and services that you pay for and whether you think they are offering you good value for money. You may decide that you would rather not buy some of the items and would rather have the money for other things.
Repay Your Debts
If you have debts then repaying them could help you to have more available money for other things as well as to be more in control. There are a few checks you need to make though. Firstly, check out how much the debt is costing you as you will find that this will be different depending on the loans that you have. Some might be very cheap, and you might actually make money if you put money into a savings account rather than repaying the loan. This is very rare though. There are also some loans such as these instant options which have fees if you repay them early. These are call early redemption charges and for some loans, particularly mortgages they can be so high that it is not actually worth repaying them early. So watch out for these and make sure you check with the lender before you start overpaying or make the decision to repay it early.
Build up Some Savings
Once the debts are paid off (or you have paid off the ones that it worth paying off) then you want to think about getting some savings behind you. Having some money in a savings account can give you a feeling of security and it is well worth thinking about doing this. Not only will it mean that you have money to fall back on if you need some in an emergency, it will also mean that you will be able to get a bit of interest on your money and save up for things that you need.