Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Practical Habits To Reduce Financial Anxiety And Increase Your Bank Balance

A lot of us hate looking at our bank balance. While payday is always uplifting, there are certain times when we know the number isn’t going to be as high as we want it to be. Various things go into this, including poor spending habits, debts, and simply bad management over our finances.

The matter can even become severe for some people. Cambridge University researchers identified ‘financial phobia’. The term refers to the fear of coming face-to-face with your financial situation. Whether you feel like you have a fear of your finances, or you just don’t like seeing your balance, it’s time for a change.

Checking your bank account shouldn’t make you anxious. In fact, checking your bank balance should feel positive. So how can you do it? You don’t have to win the lottery. All you have to do is alter a few habits, and find a few ways to keep it on the rise. Most people will still have to deal with things like bills, but you can easily cut some corners and make your finances healthier.

Taking control of your financial situation now will benefit you in every avenue. You’ll be less stressed, have more spending money, and your credit rating will thank you. Here are some of the things you can do to revitalise your bank account.

Pay Off Your Debts

One of the biggest causes of financial phobia is a high amount of outstanding debts. Putting yourself into debt can promote bad habits, you might think once you’re in for a penny, you’re in for a pound.

This should be stamped out immediately. If you’ve delved into your overdraft or began to use the revolving credit on your card, dedicate yourself to paying it off. Start today. Whether it takes a few weeks or a few months, the long-term rewards outweigh the hassle.

Don’t get into the habit of keeping loans hanging. The more you borrow, the worse your credit rating will be. A poor credit rating has a negative impact for many reasons, so avoid it.

Consider Your Borrowing Options

There may be some cases you still need to use loans. If you need to pay for something urgently, but don’t currently have the funds, you might need to borrow some money. Instead of using credit, it might pay off to use payday loans. These are short-term loans available to anyone, with a short borrowing time and manageable interest rates.

Because of the short-term nature of payday loans, you will be more encouraged to pay them off as soon as you possibly can. Failing to do so can have grim consequences, so if you don’t trust yourself, consider alternatives.

You could look into other borrowing options, but make sure you are committed to paying it back. Even if a loan allows you to pay it back in the long term, do it as soon as possible. An easy way of lending money is asking a friend or a relative for help. You could also ask your boss for your latest paycheck in advance, preventing you from having to borrow at all.

There are also certain loans that might be necessary. For example, if you’re buying a house, you’ll probably need a mortgage. Before you take out a long-term loan, ensure you’ll be able to make all payments on time.

Adjust Your Spending Habits

Some people get the urge to take in some retail therapy as soon as they see some money in their bank account. Many will see a paycheck as an excuse to spend, with the mantra “What’s the use of having money if you’re not going to spend it?”

This needs to be considered a different way. If you spend money faster than you earn it, you’ll swiftly find yourself in the bottom of a financial pit. While impulse buys might make you happy when you first get them, the novelty will quickly wear off.

Think of it this way. Would you rather be surrounded by things you don’t need, or have money in your bank account for when you really want something? The answer should be simple. Before you make any purchase, consider whether you really need it or whether it can wait. Also keep your current financial situation in mind, if you’re in debt, it’s not the best time for new clothes.

There are also simple spending adjustments which can save you a lot. Instead of buying lunch, bring your own cheap lunch from home. Instead of buying fresh meat at the supermarket, which will go off in a few days, get a big pack of frozen meat that will last you for months.

Check Where Your Money Is Going

The best way to pull back your finances is to see what your money is being spent on in the first place. Sitting down and looking at your bank statement to check what your biggest expenses are can help you tackle them head on. A family spending survey found out that some of the highest average expenses are food, clothing, and energy bills.

Identify your biggest spending problems and tackle them head-on. If you’re spending too much on your mobile bill, then consider using a cheap pay-as-you-go deal. If too much of your money is going towards cigarettes, then it might be time to quit smoking.

Running a car is usually one of the biggest expenses. Insurance costs, the price of gas, and any repairs you have to carry out can add up fast. One of the ways to make having a car cheaper is to use alternative transport more. Cycling to work isn’t just healthy; it can also save you an impressive amount of money.

No matter what your biggest expenses are, you can always find cheaper ways around them. Check what you’re spending too much on and consider whether you should change what you’re doing or cut it out altogether.

Compare And Save

You should reassess all your bills and deals. There are plenty of sites out there to compare deals for car insurance, home insurance, energy deals, and internet deals. You may find out moving to a different company can work out much cheaper.

There are also shopping comparison sites. When you decide to purchase something, use one of these to make sure you’re getting the cheapest possible deal. Google also has a price comparison search engine, known as Google Shopping.

Save More Money

In addition to altering your spending habits, other measures can help you save more money. Opening a savings account is a good first step. Many bank accounts already come with a savings account, so it might be time to make use of yours.

There are different types of savings account. Some lock your money away for a fixed period of time. In return for not touching your money during this time, you’ll get a high amount of interest back. Having your money stashed away like this can also stop you spending too much.

This isn’t practical for everyone, though. Many savings accounts give you open access to your money. They are simply there to manage your savings better and often give you a higher amount of interest back. Every week when you get your paycheck, consider putting 60% or so into your savings account. It doesn’t mean you can’t use it. It just means you’ll be less likely to use it, as an ATM will access your main bank account instead of cutting into your savings.

Putting savings aside from all money you earn can make you feel more optimistic. Instead of watching your balance go down from spending, you can watch the balance in your savings account go up each week. This will make you want to save more money.

Sell Unneeded Items

If you have a lot of junk lying around from bad spending habits, you can turn this into something positive. Selling your old stuff gets rid of clutter and gets you some extra spending money.

You can use eBay to sell pretty much anything. Whether you have clothes, old video game consoles or collectables to get rid of, someone will want to buy them. You can list items up at any price you want. You can either choose a fixed ‘Buy It Now’ price or put it to auction for a chosen amount of time. Auctioning items off is often the best bet, you’ll be surprised at how much people are willing to spend on some items! Be aware that eBay takes 10% of your profits, but you’ll still get the lion’s share.

Websites like Gumtree let you put up free classified ads. You can sell old items to locals at a chosen price. You could also do it the old fashioned way and hold a garage sale, or go to a car boot sale to pawn off old junk.

Converting your old stuff into cash is a good way to make a little pocket money on the side. Instead of wanting to spend all your money, you’ll want to sell more things to earn more money. You’ll watch your balance rise and feel excited to check your bank account.

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