Anyone looking to make the most of their money in 2017 should know that having a budget is crucial. A budget will lie at the heart of your financial activities and taking the time to pull some things together now will help you benefit in the weeks and months to come. Organising your budget isn’t always pleasurable, no one really wants to see what their finances really look like, but if you take the time to review your budget, you should find that you move to a more secure financial footing.
You need to take your budget seriously
A budget is important and it will have a big impact on your life, so you need to give it the respect it deserves. If you are looking to make the most of your money in the year ahead, set yourself some time where you can 100% focus on your budget. A budget is not something to be rushed and it isn’t something that you want to throw together in the hope of getting it right.
Some tips to bear in mind for your budget include:
- Include all income and expenditure, do not cherry pick to make the budget more favourable
- Be honest
- If you need assistance, ask for help
- Double check all figures
Take your budget as a starting point
When looking through your budget, you may find that you are spending money on items or services that you don’t need. The amount of people who have Direct Debits coming off their money which offer no benefit to them at all is quite large and it may be that you have forgotten about some services you have signed up for.
If you have Direct Debits or Standing Orders that you don’t need, be sure to stop them. You may need to check the terms and conditions of the agreement to ensure you stop them in the correct manner but if you are spending money while receiving no benefit, take action now.
It may also be that you can make savings by changing your behaviour or switching to a different provider. You shouldn’t feel loyal to a bank or an energy company just because you have used them for many years. You should always be looking for the best deal on offer, and if you can save money or receive a better standard of service by switching your account, you should do so.
You may find that the company will offer you an improved deal to make you stay. If this happens, you have a choice to make. It is annoying that a company will only offer you a better rate or service when you threaten to leave, as opposed to rewarding you for good service but ultimately, it is about finding the best deal on offer. If you threaten to leave and a company miraculously comes up with the best deal, stick with it for now.
Can you bring in additional income?
You should always be looking for ways to bring in more income. This may mean working more hours, taking on a part-time job or selling items or services online. If you can bring in more money on a regular basis, you will find that you can create a more attractive budget for your needs.
Of course, no matter how well you budget, it is likely that there will be times when unexpected bills come out of the blue. Even people with a fantastic budget can find themselves struggling to make ends meet or to ensure their plans are in place. You should look for assistance during these times and when you have been faced with a bill at short notice, a solution may be a guarantor loan.
A guarantor loan is a fantastic way to get money at an affordable rate and in a manner that suits you. If you find a guarantor with a good credit score, you’ll find that you will be looked upon more favourably by a guarantor loan company. The presence of the guarantor offers a lower rate of APR and of course, a guarantor loan can be paid back over a longer period of time, alleviating some of the pressure associated with other loans, like a payday loan, which has to be paid back quickly.
You will find that budgeting your money is a fantastic way to plan for the year ahead but if you do need additional assistance, help is available.
Andrew Reilly is a freelance writer with a focus on news stories and consumer interest articles. He has been writing professionally for 9 years but has been writing for as long as he can care to remember. When Andrew isn’t sat behind a laptop or researching a story, he will be found watching a gig or a game of football.