We all can have trouble making decisions from time to time, and when it comes to money, the hardest part is often knowing where to start.
Financial matters can affect our wellbeing, and ultimately we all want peace of mind when making decisions about money.
Shona Lowe, financial planning expert at abrdn (abrdn.com), suggests a few things you can do to improve your financial wellbeing …
“Making a plan and sticking to it will help your confidence and the general way you manage your money,” Lowe says.
Analyze your spending habits over the past six to twelve months so you can see where you are spending the most – and where you can save.
Write down your expected expenses for the next month. If you have money left, you may want to think about your other financial goals, such as saving and investing.
If the expenses exceed your income, think about where you could make changes. If you are having problems with debt, a good place to start is making a list of what you owe to whom, how much, and copies of your credit reports. Organizations like Citizens Advice (citizensadvice.org.uk) can also help.
Try to have a buffer so that if you over-spend, you don’t break your budget.
These can be saved for a new car or a vacation, for example, to help your children at university or to repay debts.
Also, to make your goals more effective, you may want to set a time frame for each one so you have a clearer idea of how to get there.
“Financial decisions can be fraught with anxiety and stress, but talking to friends and family can help,” advises Lowe. “You may have ideas on how to make a goal easier to achieve.”
If you are not comfortable with this, you can speak to a financial planner.
The pandemic has taught us the importance of having a money-saving pot in case of an emergency.
Says Lowe, “There are several benefits to investing your money, most notably the potential for higher returns over the long term, but you always want to make sure that you have some amount of cash available when you need it. ”
5. Finally, no rush
“There are very few, if any, financial decisions that need to be made immediately, and often a pressurized decision could mean you do worse off in the future if you haven’t thought through every detail,” says Lowe.
“The key to financial well-being is feeling in control of your finances. So if you make sure that your decisions are well thought out, you can feel safe. “
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