Are you smart about financial matters? While it seems that some people are naturally prudent and seem to make good money choices almost by instinct, for others it’s more of an uphill battle. We feel compelled to buy things that we know we don’t really need, we get suckered into bad deals when we need to finance a big purchase and we never seem to have enough money left over at the end of the money to put away what we hoped to in savings. So, is it all hopeless? No! The good news is that great financial decisions are a habit, and like any habit they can be learned.
Question Your Habits
Getting the best deal on things can become quite addictive – there’s nothing quite like the feeling of paying less on something you really needed. For small purchases, instead of handing over your card on impulse, try taking a picture of the item and adding to a wishlist album. This gives you a cooling off period – if you still want the item in a week then you can purchase, but you’ll be surprised how often the desire will have passed. It also gives you an opportunity to compare prices online and shop around for the best deal first. Perhaps you can even use a shopping cashback site to earn some money on the purchase too.
Secure The Best Finance
For larger purchases where you will need to secure financing, you really need to shop around. Focus less on the headline price and more on the Annual Percentage Rate (APR) that determines how much interest you’ll be paying. Even a small difference can add up to hundreds or even thousands over the term of the loan. Check your credit score first, as this determines the deals that you will be offered. If it isn’t great, consider if you could delay the purchase for a few months while you build up your credit score first. Shop around for the best rate you can find. For example, if you’re buying a new car, instead of just agreeing to the rate offered by the dealership, consider a specialist company like Smile Car Finance instead.
Stay On Top Of Your Finances
Financial mistakes can easily happen when we aren’t paying attention. Make sure that you know where you’re at with money during the whole month, not just immediately after payday. Using a money management app can be a really effective way of managing your personal finances, as it helps you to keep track of all the expenses you’re accumulating during the month and understand what habits that don’t seem a problem are actually undermining your financial position. You can also use savings apps which allows you to automatically schedule a payment to your savings regularly and also offers features such as automatic round-ups on your card payments, so whenever you buy something, the price is rounded up and the difference sent to your savings.
With a little attention to detail, getting into great money habits doesn’t have to be difficult. Little changes can quickly add up to keep your finances in check and steer you towards a future with less money headaches.