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The Busy Person’s Guide To Taking Control Of Your Finances

21st Mar 2016

Our finances can be the biggest source of worry in our life. Whether we’re young or mature, single or raising a family, being in control of our income should be a priority. A startling number of financial problems arise from two main causes: not knowing about them, or delaying dealing with them. If we make a conscious effort to address gaps in our financial knowledge, we are far more likely to spot problems as they arise. As a result, we can deal with them effectively. This sense of accomplishment will give us the motivation and momentum to continue with good habits. Unfortunately, not being aware of a problem (or worse, refusing to acknowledge one) can rapidly take a situation from bad to worse. Whatever your budget and financial situation, there are some quick, easy tips that can help anyone to take control.

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Make A Budget

The word “budget” makes most people either scared or bored. It has a restrictive, limiting feel to it, doesn’t it? A budget sounds like a list of all the things you can’t do. But it’s time to change our attitude. Think of a budget as a list of all the things you can do. No-one wants to do something and then feel guilty or anxious afterwards. A budget can help us to ensure that nothing we do (or spend) will result in bad feelings. We shouldn’t see it as a restriction. We should see it as empowerment. Our budget will directly lead us to our financial goals and wishes. Even if it takes an element of sacrifice along the way, ultimately, it will be our budget that rewards us. Our budget is a fun friend looking out for our future. Stop seeing it as a party-pooper who bosses you around.

Know Your Terminology

A lack of financial knowledge can be a recipe for disaster. We may not all be budding entrepreneurs or financial advisors, but we should have a strong understanding of our own situation. If we have direct debits and taxes, for example, know exactly what they are. If we have specialised circumstances like grants or secured homeowner loans, learn the ins and outs. It is not necessary to become a financial expert overnight. But knowing relevant terminology, timescales, and drawbacks that might affect us is essential. If you want to get up to spend, consider joining a blog or mailing list with financial advice. Follow a financial YouTube channel or grab a book that breaks some of it down. There is no faster way to feel powerful and in control than to educate yourself. Whether online or in print, get reading!

Act Quickly

When problems arise, it can be very tempting to hope there has been a mistake or not to face them directly. This is particularly true if we are confused or feel out of our depth. It is important not to feel ashamed or allow yourself to become so anxious that you cannot face the problem. Ask for advice, professional if necessary, and act quickly. What may have seemed like a huge problem might soon dissolve. Even if it requires major attention, there is no financial problem that improves by being ignored. Be brave, get support, and you will soon be back on track.

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