If you’re right at the start of your career, you may find yourself walking something of a tightrope when it comes to money. Getting to grips with your rent, bills and other living costs while earning a very modest wage can be quite stressful, and getting behind on payments can negatively affect your credit rating. It’s important to be clever with your money from the moment you start earning. In this article, we look at a few ways in which you can make your finances work for you.
Revise Your Finances Regularly
You need to check your bank statements regularly to keep track of what your money is doing. This will help to understand what funds you have available at any one time – and will also ensure that you don’t get the rug pulled out from under you by an unexpected expense. You may be able to make your existing financial activities work harder for you. For example, if you took out a loan to help you through college or university, you could opt for a student loan refinance. This can lead to your repayments and interest rates being adjusted in your favor.
Make Smart Investments
Depending on the economic landscape, you might decide to invest in a variety of money-growing resources. The simplest thing to do is to open a savings account. Over the years, the money you deposit there will gain interest, which means you’ll end up with more when the time comes to withdraw. There is also the opportunity to invest in stocks, shares and other assets such as property or cryptocurrency, as their value regularly changes. This is more of a gamble, however, as there is every chance that the market will move in a negative direction instead of a positive one.
Try to opt for cheaper alternatives where possible. Do you buy a barista-crafted coffee from a popular chain every day? The cost of these refreshments can really add up. Consider instead making your own coffee at home and carrying a flask. You can prepare your lunches for work at home too, instead of heading out to buy sandwiches each time. By creating fresh meals and then freezing them to use throughout the week, you’ll save yourself a little time and money every day – and it’s likely that you’ll be eating much more healthily too. Think also about where you shop and the groceries you buy. Certain items cost less in some shops than in others. You should also consider buying own-brand ingredients instead of branded – in many cases, there is very little difference whatsoever. Another great approach is to buy non-perishable or freezable items in bulk. This usually means you’ll get a great deal more for your money.
If something gets damaged, your first approach should not always be to go out and buy another one. Check first whether it can be easily fixed. Sewing up a seam on a shirt or applying wood glue to a chair’s wobbly leg takes very little time and money. Buying second hand is a great idea too. You’ll find some great quality clothes in second hand shops – and you may even come away with a few designer pieces. Remember that a lot of the things you might be tempted to throw away could actually be recycled and used for other things – so before you buy something new, make sure you don’t already have an item that could be harnessed for the same purpose. You can also save money by growing your own vegetables or herbs. This is a fun and productive hobby as well as a way to cut down on spending.