When I first got together with my wife, I didn’t have the best attitude with money. My wife soon turned things round and give my finances a much-needed overhaul. Little bad habits I had gotten into over the years, like for some reason having two mobile phones and still paying for SKY maintenance a year on after cancelling my SKY account! My wife went through my bank account statements with a fine-tooth comb. She soon reduced my monthly outgoings to a more manageable figure.
It is important to stay on top of your finances because it’s a slippery slope. I had built up a fair amount of debt and if it hadn’t been for my wife bailing me out, I don’t know if I would have gotten on the right track so quickly! My attitude to finances has changed completely now. I am much more frugal about what I buy. I shop around for better deals and am proud of how high my credit score is.
I thought it was worth passing on some wisdom as I think everyone can benefit from giving their bank account a finance MOT.
Look Through Your Statements
What can you cut back on? Could you swap your takeaways for fakeaways at home? Are you paying out for services you no longer use? I am now the one getting on my wife’s case, she hadn’t been to the gym in months, so I encouraged her to cancel her membership! We can always do workout video’s on YouTube and save a small fortune. There is nothing worse than paying out for something that you don’t use. I think the year I wasted on SKY maintenance got that message to finally sink in! Save before you buy anything as debt can soon build up to unmanageable levels.
If you need to borrow money shop around to find the best deal. In some circumstances when your credit score is poor you might not have the luxury of choice. If you do get bad credit loans make sure you repay them on time to minimise the interest building up. These are handy in a financial emergency but don’t rely on them for day to day living expenses.
Improve your Credit Score
I like ClearScore which is a completely free to use. It’s good to refer to your credit reports and see if you have any problems. The quicker you resolve these the better as you want to have access to more suitable financial products and deals. I had an error on my credit score and had to phone the company to sort it out.
Start a Savings Account
It’s so easy to get in the habit of living day to day but it is wise to build up a savings account for a rainy day. That safety net gives you reassurance when your car breaks down or an appliance gives up the ghost. I wish I had that sense of security having savings behind you brings but sometimes we feel like we are firefighting going from one bill to the next. Never getting a chance to build up a little bit to fall back on. The Money Advice Service recommends starting small which I think is excellent advice I am sure many of us wouldn’t notice a few pounds leaving our account!
Hopefully these tips will help you feel more financially secure. I dread to think where I would have been now if my wife hadn’t given me that finance MOT 12 years ago.