Wednesday, August 11, 2021

8 Ways To Make Your Money Work For You

 Sometimes it seems that no matter how much money you make, you always need that little bit more. Soon, that little bit more becomes a lot more, and you need to start thinking about how to make your money stretch even further. Alternatively, you could start thinking about how to grow the money you have so that it covers everything you need it to (and more, if possible). Here are some ideas.  

Photo by Michael Longmire on Unsplash

Be Brave 

Millionaires are not afraid to use their money to make more money. You could be worried about investing your money, or starting up a new business using your savings or borrowing to do it, but where will you be if you don't do it? You'll be exactly where you are right now. Nothing will have changed. Therefore, if you want your money to work for you, to grow, and help you realize the kind of lifestyle you know you deserve, you need to be brave. Being brave is not the same as being reckless; we're not saying just start throwing your money into investments and businesses without thinking. Being brave means doing your research, working out the best path to follow, and then doing it. 

Make sure that any money you do invest or use to fund a start up business is money that you don't need for other things, such as paying bills or buying groceries. If it means you need to step back and save up for a while, then that is an excellent option to take. If you research wisely and use only money you can really spare (it may take a while to see a return), then being brave can really pay off. 

Think Differently 

Take a look at what you're already paying for, and think about how you could do it differently. How much do you spend on groceries a week? Is there any way that you could reduce that cost? For example, you could try searching for coupons or working out a meal plan ahead of time so you only buy what you need and nothing more. Perhaps you're paying for a subscription for a club or delivery plan. Is there a cheaper method of paying? Could you reduce your plan and still receive the items you want? Need fuel? Can you find a more affordable place to fill your tank up in, even if it means driving a little out of your way? 

Making a list of all of your outgoings and coming up with a way to reduce or eliminate each one can save you a considerable amount of money for very little effort. You may even find there are things you had forgotten about and don't need, but that you're still paying for. Cancel these, and you'll automatically save more money. 

Pay Yourself 

When you receive your paycheck, pay yourself. It sounds odd, but if you put a certain amount away into a savings account (setting up an automatic payment works well because you don't even have to think about it) before you even begin to pay your bills, you are more likely to save. If you pay the bills first and then look at what's left, most people will be reluctant to put any part of it to one side. It's a definite psychological thing because the end result is the same: you will have put money into savings, paid all bills, and kept enough money in your account for essentials (as well as a little extra if you want to, and can afford to). 

Having a part of your income 'locked' away in a savings account forces you to look sensibly at what you are bringing in. Is it really enough? If you're unable to put any money away each week or month, then it's time to really think about your outgoings and cut back. Or you need to start looking at ways to increase your income, such as getting a better job or a second job or starting your own business. 

Interest Rates 

When you do start to save, it can be easy to simply open up a savings account with your current bank. However, although that is convenient and makes putting money aside a little easier, it may not be the best option. Shop around to find the best interest rates. Sometimes online only banks offer some great deals, and if you're a new customer, you might even get a reward for joining up. There are also comparison sites that allow you to input what you need from a savings account and then will give you a selection of accounts to compare and choose from.

What you choose will really depend on whether you are willing to put your savings away in an account that you can't touch for a specific amount of time or not. If you are, you'll get a much higher interest rate. There are also instant access deposit accounts, but if you feel you might be tempted to use the money in there instead of saving it, then this might not be for you. 

Credit Cards 

Generally, unless you're a very savvy saver, credit cards should be avoided or only used for emergencies and specific situations (a credit card can be very useful when on vacation abroad, for example). If you do use one, it's best to try to pay it off each month, otherwise you could run up large debts that you are unable to service or that leave you short through spending unwisely on your credit card. If you do have a credit card, there are some ways that you can possibly use them to your advantage, however. 

Try transferring your balance from one card to another, making sure that the second card has a zero percent balance period. You'll be paying no interest, which can significantly reduce your outgoings. Or, if you're happy to continue paying the amount you were before the switch, you can pay your card off much more quickly. You might want to check out the rewards you can get with your credit card as well. Not every card offers them, but they might be able to save you some money. For example, some cards allow you to collect points, which you can then redeem for goods or even cash.  

Pay Off Your Debts 

As hard as it might sound, if you have debts, your priority should be to pay them off. If this means not going on vacation, or not buying the most fashionable clothes, or walking instead of driving or taking the bus, then this is what you will need to do. The sooner your debts are paid off, the sooner you can relax more and enjoy your life all the better – and you'll be able to save money for emergencies or for something specific like a vacation or the down payment for a house, therefore getting your money to work for you much more. 

Although it may take many months – or longer – to entirely pay your debts off, it is good to have a focus, and the act of saving money to then pay a larger sum on a credit card or loan will make you feel good too. If you're having a lot of trouble with debts, then contacting professionals like the Leinart Law Firm can be advantageous, as they will be able to offer help and guidance about how to deal with the issue. 

Make A Budget 

It's something we've all heard before, but how many of us really have and follow a personal budget? If you're guilty of being unaware of your incomings and outgoings, creating a budget is one of the greatest ways to start taking control of your finances and ensuring that your money works for you in the best way.

What a budget really does is to give you a much better idea of whether your spending habits are healthy or detrimental – are you spending more than you can afford, or sticking to what your income and expenses dictates? Once you are able to see where your money is needed most, you can more easily pay off any debt, keep on top of your income, and ensure that you don’t overspend, allowing you to save for your future goals much more easily.

Speak To A Financial Advisor 

Whatever your financial position is, the first thing you should do is find someone who has done well with their money and spend some time speaking to them. A financial planner or advisor could fit the bill here, as they are experts when it comes to working out how best to make changes in your life to ensure your money works for you, and they can help you make more money if need be – or at least give you guidance about how to go about it. 

A financial advisor can assist you with identifying realistic financial objectives and developing ways to reach those goals in a sensible timeframe. Do your research and think about what you want to gain from this conversation before talking with your financial advisor. Is it help with budgeting? Debts? Investing? Have a list of ideas to go through, and you'll get a lot more out of your meeting or meetings.