There is no time like the present to get your finances organised. Being financially disorganised can be stressful, so having more organisation around your money should make you happier. Therefore, start getting financially organised today by decluttering your finances.
Four steps to declutter your finances.
1. Organise separate bank accounts.
Dividing different aspects of your finances into separate bank accounts will give you greater visibility and control over your finances. You may decide to have a separate account for bills and day-to-day expenses. Another account could be set aside for your transport and commuting costs. A third compartmentalised account could be used to hold your long-term or short-term savings.
It certainly makes sense to separate savings from money that you need immediately. If you don’t need immediate access to some money, it is better off in a savings account or another account that will allow you to accrue some interest, such as an ISA. Avoid financial mistakes, make use of regulated financial advisors such as Portafina before you jump in to big decisions that could affect your future.
2. Conduct a spending review.
You should take time to review what you were spending on direct debits and regular payments such as broadband, mobile phone, insurance, and others. You may be surprised how much these costs have risen since you first took out the contract.
By reviewing these costs, you can decide whether you still need the service or not. For instance, you may not be using the service as much as you were previously, so downgrading may be an option. Also, you might be able to find a similar service for a significantly reduced price.
When you have reviewed your spending, set up your regular payments to leave your account just after your salary arrives in your bank. Doing so will give you a clear picture of how much money you have remaining for the rest of the month.
3. Eliminate your debts.
There are a few better feelings in life than the one you will have when you become debt-free. Of course, becoming debt-free requires some effort. However, you can quickly get out of debt by making minor lifestyle changes and sacrificing a few small luxuries.
When eliminating your debt, concentrate on how great you’ll feel when you are debt-free rather than focusing on what you are sacrificing. Knowing where to start can be challenging, particularly when you have multiple debts.
To begin with, you should make a list of all your debts, ranking them in order of the amount of interest paid. You should start paying off your debt with the highest interest rate. Doing so will give you more disposable income every month with which to clear your lower-interest obligations.
Dealing with debt can leave some people feeling overwhelmed. If you find this is the case, you might want to consider consulting a debt counsellor for support.
4. Look after ‘Future You.’
Decluttering your finances will bring you satisfaction today, and it’s also good to consider yourself tomorrow. Getting financially organised will allow you to better prepare for your future.
Although your retirement may be decades away, and it is difficult to imagine how your lifestyle will be then, preparing now will pay dividends for your ‘Future You.’ Therefore, the sooner you start saving for your retirement, the better.
Where do you start?
If you don’t already have any retirement savings, this may come as excellent news. Being over 22, employed, and earning at least £10,000 per year, means that you will automatically be enrolled in a workplace pension.
If so, around 8% of your total salary will be going towards your retirement fund. These contributions are made up of 4% from yourself, at least 3% from your employer, and another one percent in the form of government tax relief.
Your employer’s contributions and the government tax relief is money that you do not typically have if you were not in a workplace pension scheme. Therefore, you should remain in this scheme unless it is impossible not to.
The State Pension.
Of course, you’re likely to qualify for some level of state pension. How much you receive depends upon how many years’ worth of National Insurance contributions you have made during your working life.
However, you should not rely on the state pension as your sole source of retirement income. At £179.60 per week for the full State Pension, it is unlikely to sustain the lifestyle you want in retirement.
Getting financially organised will not only give you a more stress-free and enjoyable life today but will allow you to become better prepared for your retirement in the future. Hopefully, these four ways of decluttering your finances will help you achieve both.