Preparing for a Better Financial Future
When you’re young, your priorities might be travelling the world, getting a good degree or finding your perfect job, however, it’s never too early to start planning your financial future. Although it may be the last thing on your mind, making the right financial decisions early in your life will help you save more money in the future.
Here are five top tips to help get you started!
1. Learn to budget
Budgeting can be tricky, but the earlier you start the better you’ll become at it. As soon as you start earning and spending money, a good idea is to create a spreadsheet, so you can see all your incomings and outgoings in one place. There are many free templates online that you can use to make it easier too! No matter how big or small the purchase, by inputting all your financial information, you’ll be able to see exactly where your money is going. The spreadsheet will also highlight where you can make cutbacks, helping you to save more money.
2. Start saving early
If you find it challenging to save money, set yourself a goal to aim for. For example, if you’re saving money for a wedding, set up a wedding savings account, and pay a set amount into the account every month via a standing order. Even if you don’t have something to save for, such as a wedding or a car, it’s always recommended to have savings in the bank for any unexpected costs. Saving just a little amount each month will add up to a lot in the future, so don’t worry if it doesn’t feel like a lot at first.
3. Maintain a good credit rating
To improve your future financial position, ensure that your credit rating is always good or excellent from an early age. If you’re worried about your credit score, there are plenty of ways you can improve it, such as paying your bills on time, making sure you’re registered on the electoral role, keeping a consistent job or house, and using credit cards responsibly. Your credit rating can also be affected by the number of credit applications you make, so if you do need to take out a loan in the future, be sure not to apply for too many in a small period of time.
4. Plan for retirement
Although retirement might seem far way, it’s better to be prepared for when the day comes. With rent and bills to think about, and debts and credit cards to pay off, putting money into a pension might not be a priority when you’re young, but the earlier you start, the better off you’ll be once you retire. Many companies now provide auto-enrolment schemes, which means that unless you state that you want to opt out, you’ll automatically contribute a percentage of your wage towards a pension.
5. Avoid getting financially linked to bad credit ratings
Whether you’re at university or living with a partner, you might think that setting up a joint bank account will make managing your finances easier. Although this might be true, you also run the risk of being financially linked to a person with a bad credit rating. If you’re financially connected to somebody with a poor credit history, your credit score will be affected, so be sure you know somebody’s financial history before agreeing to set up a joint bank account with them.