The impact of the cost of living crisis has hit everyone to some degree, and thinking about managing your finances may be a struggle. So, we have put together this quick guide to help you navigate through it. January is always great for fresh starts, and now is an excellent time to make a positive step toward having healthy finances for the new year.
As with so many areas in life, sound planning is key to maintaining financial wellbeing. Structuring and sticking to a budget will help you reach your goals and reduce the chances of impulsive purchases. A Notts and Lincs Credit Union (NLCU) Debt Consolidation loan is just one example which can help you minimise your outgoings. One monthly payment straight from payroll and careful budgeting will allow you to protect your income. Tracking your money enables you to reflect on your expenditure and identify where to cut back.
Lighten the load as a household
Encourage your family or household to set a goal as a collective – with a group effort; small contributions can help relieve financial pressure. It’s also a great chance to introduce the younger family members to budget management by teaching them the value of money and saving. Having everybody working together will lighten the load, and Notts and Lincs Credit Union are also here to help you with money management to secure a better financial future.
When shopping, be mindful of the difference between essential and desirable items. Prioritise bills, travel expenses, debts, food, cleaning and hygiene products before spending on non-essentials.
From utility bills to credit cards, you should stay up to date with what’s on offer to ensure you’re not paying more than you need. Use comparison websites to get impartial information. These sites also contain tips on avoiding fees and better rates when switching utility companies or transferring balances between credit cards.
Initial price vs overall cost
When making a major purchase that you’d expect to last, consider the potential long-term cost and not just the momentary “cheap deal” on offer. To explain further, Car A costs £500 but lasts for two years or less, while Car B costs £1000 and lasts for ten years.
Car A has a lower price to start with; however, it may mean having to fork out for constant repairs or replacements, costing a lot more money in the long run.
Make FOMO a no go
Don’t allow yourself to be taken in by every special offer and so-called price reduction for fear of losing out (FOMO). Which Magazine recently conducted a survey that showed Black Friday Deals (stretched to the following week in some places) are often available again for Boxing day or Easter bank holiday sales. A further survey showed that 98% of the Black Friday deals and discounts from 2021 were even cheaper at other points during the year. So there’s always time; you will never really miss out!
Saving is king
Your savings could be your safety net. Putting a little money aside each month will help you build healthy finances and peace of mind. Maintaining your savings takes time and self-discipline, but it will be worth it in the end and could come in handy with those unexpected expenses that often crop up.
Better to be in the know
Educating yourself on financial matters is an invaluable way to improve your financial situation and protect your money. If you’re dealing with redundancies, dismissals and disciplines or need to know more about your benefits and help for households, there’s lots of information available.
Banks and financial institutions often change their products, services and offers; therefore, it’s always good to be up to date with the latest information. In the new year, our Blog & News page will keep you informed with financial tips.
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