Business & Finance

10 Easy Tips To Improve Your Personal And Family Finances

Sometimes making sure your money works as well as it can for you can seem a major challenge. In the face of bills, expenses and different pressures on yours and other household income, sometimes the idea of investing for the future or saving for retirement may seem almost fanciful.

Some judicious yet simple steps could make all the difference and above all put you in proper control of your finances.

1 Set a budget

It can often be a shock to see your basic ‘money out v money in’ summary on your bank statement and how much leaves your account every statement period.

A simple budget can soon show you where your money is going each month and may highlight ways you can save. Keep receipts and diligently log your expenses and income and see what the balance is at the end of each month.

Set up a budget that suits you either electronically or using old fashioned paper and pen.

Set a budget

2 Audit

Setting a budget is one thing, but know if you can keep to it is another. That’s where a spending audit comes in. Go through your last few bank statements line by line to identify exactly where your money goes.

spending audit

3 Cut your spending

This will then allow you to identify areas where your level of spending is too high. Whether it’s a costly utility bill or a mobile phone contract that has crept up in cost – you can identify items and look at cut them in part or full.

Cut your spending

4 Shop elsewhere

What about your essentials? Take a look at your food shop and look for ways to switch to cheaper alternatives – either within your favourite shop or by taking your custom elsewhere. Many of us slip into spending habits that are unwittingly costing us more than they should when it comes to groceries. Small changes can make a big difference when they relate to something you spend every week.

Small changes can make a big difference

5 Investment options

If you have some spare money to invest, or have some investments currently, then looking into them might be worth considering. This is much easier than it used to be thanks to online platforms.

With the amount of information online, you can soon learn about other investment options that might suit you. For example, if a highly leveraged investment involving lower deposits is of interest, then CFD trading (Contract for Difference) could be worth investigating; trading specialists are a good source of information.

Investment options

6 Set up an emergency fund

To insure against the sudden and unexpected need to find a sum of money – say for a major car or house repair expense – build up an emergency fund. This might save you from needing to borrow money and pay back interest. Even a small amount set aside each month or every other month can provide you with a little financial security. It doesn’t have to be a bespoke account – adding to your savings could be just as beneficial and help you to earn interest on your money.

Set up an emergency fund

7 Sensible decision making

Of course certain things are essential purchases, but try to adopt a few good habits when buying things in the ‘want’ category as opposed to ‘need’ – it’s all about avoiding temptation.

For example, if tempted by an impulse purchase when out and about, it’s a good habit to delay the purchase for one day to see if you still want it. Next day, if you’re still keen and would go back to the store then maybe treat yourself – if not you’ll have saved some money.

Sensible decision making

8 Buy to last

When is a bargain not a bargain? Sometimes the cheapest items – be they kitchen accessories, child’s toys or items of furniture – aren’t always value for money if they won’t last you as long. Buying a quality product that can last for a long time might prove cost effective in the long run.

Buy to last

9 Cut bad habits

There’s nothing wrong with treating yourself from time to time, but cutting one or more habits out of your routine can improve your finances. Cutting one visit to the pub or coffee shop a week can bear fruit, freeing up funds that can be diverted to your other spending priorities.

Cut bad habits

10 Review regularly

Get into the habit of regularly reviewing your finances. Don’t just have one blitz and leave it at that. Along with maintaining an ongoing budget, keep checking expenses and analyze different investment options. If it helps, set a date every six months and repeat some of the steps above to identify new savings or investment opportunities.

regularly reviewing your finances

Nessma Youssef

Nessma Youssef is an Egyptian entrepreneur and television personality. She is the founder and president of YMA Entertainment, one of the largest independent media companies in the Middle East.Having graduated from the American University in Cairo with a degree in journalism, Youssef began her career in TV production and launched her first singing competition show, 'Star Academy,' in 2002. The show was a massive success and helped launch her career.Over the next decade, Youssef spearheaded dozens of hit productions and helped launch the careers of many influential artists across the Arab world. She also founded YMA Film in 2010 to support the Egyptian film industry.In recognition of her contributions, Youssef was named 'Media Businesswoman of the Year' multiple times by Forbes Middle East. She sits on the board of several organizations and was chosen as an Atlantic Council Young Global Leader.Under Youssef's leadership, YMA Entertainment has grown to become one of the largest producers of television and digital content in the Middle East, reflecting her ambitious vision and dedication to the region's creative industries.
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