This is a collaborative post.
Corona virus has taken its toll on a lot of people. Some have lost their jobs. Others have had to take large pay cuts. For the most part, a lot of people are having to dip into their savings, especially business owners or people who are sole trading as tradesmen or similar.
The pandemic isn’t over either. Various areas have implemented secondary lock downs, meaning people are once again looking to watch their money. There have always been ways to look after your finances, but at the moment they’re a little more important and warrant your consideration.
Both short term and long term considerations are appropriate. It’s wise to have savings. Not just so you can buy things that you want, but so that you have money to fall back on in case something bad happens such as redundancy or emergencies.
People approach saving and future finance outlook in different ways. As such, here are some different things you can do to help your finances out. Try to look at your own personal circumstances and then apply the advice in a bespoke way instead of a blanket approach which might just not work too well for you and your family. Good luck!
Don’t Let Your Vehicle Ruin Your Financing
So many people are drawn into expensive vehicle options, which end up draining the pocket book. Not only that, but they end up getting sucked into bad spending habits on their vehicle.
The same applies if you use a vehicle for your business. In fact, here are The 17 Most Misunderstood Facts About Van Leasing.
You need to ensure you keep on top of things. Each year when your insurance renews, don’t just accept it. Instead look for better deals, because there’s guaranteed to be some out there. Make sure you check where the cheapest petrol is too, don’t just go to the same garage for convenience.
If you’re buying a car on finance, try to avoid taking it out through the dealership. You’d be better off going to the bank and taking a loan out because this way you’d be able to drive the price down and pay the principal back with a better percentage of interest.
Be careful, and always read the fine print. The problem is that these agreements last a long period of time. Time which you’ll always be paying a chunk of cash off. Always remember the long lengths of the contract and make sure you get the best APR you can.
Watch Out For Scammy Phone Contracts
Like long term finance deals, long phone contracts are also a scam. Try to stay out of them. If you need a new phone, perhaps you don’t need to get the newest one available. Instead look at some of the older handsets, which probably aren’t that different to the newer ones. Or, if you really want the newest handsets, consider paying the money for the handset itself. This way your monthly outgoings will be far cheaper.
You also need to be aware of the data package you’re being offered. If you work from home and have WI-FI, you don’t need loads of data. If you don’t have WI-FI access during the day it might be a good idea to pay a little more for data. This is also the same if you have a job where travelling is necessary.
Again, this is a great way to look after your current finances, but to also look after finances in the future. Switching your mortgage provider when your initial term is up is a must. Otherwise you’ll end up paying a whole lot more money as your interest rate goes up. Instead, keep your mortgage rate lower by swapping.
Most people take a rate out every 3-5 years but you can opt for longer or shorter as needs be. Essentially, if rates are low you want a longer mortgage, if they’re high, go for a shorter one. There are all kinds of different ones on offer and you need to find what’s best for you.
To properly survey what’s out there you should use a comparison website or a mortgage broker. A broker might have access to deals you won’t know about. However, make sure they take their fee from the other side or you’ll be spending more money. Putting in the research to get the right broker will pay dividends down the line so make sure you have a look at the options.
Invest Long Term
So many people try chasing riches short term, but it just doesn’t work like that. In reality, you need to invest long term for the best possible options in the future. You can find some great investment accounts out there that you can start for a small amount of money, then you just need to pay a certain amount in each month and you can forget about it.
If you’ve got the money now, it can be worth investing it to make sure you secure your future. All you need to do is pick your portfolio. You can get risky ones, and safe ones. Risky ones are usually more geared towards stocks and can be fine in the long term. However, it’s when you go short term the risks start popping up. If you’re constantly pulling your cash out you aren’t going to benefit as much. It can be hard to resist the urge to touch this cash…but the best thing you can do is set aside an amount a month to invest and then don’t look at the balance…and don’t get scared if you lose a little either.
Stay safe With Gold
If you do have some cash sitting around and you’re worried about inflation depreciating it or about your currency being devalued due to current events in your country, then think about buying some gold. You don’t need to buy lots either or to stick all your money in it. Instead, use it as a method to diversify. Gold holds its value, it always has. Then, when you need the money again sell the gold. If you don’t need to sell urgently you might just be able to wait until gold hits a high, like it did earlier in the year. If you do, you could end up making a lot more money.
Silver can also be a good investment, but be careful of certain metals as they can bounce up and down a lot more than the more common ones. You also need to decide whether you buy the actual product, or stocks. Again, you need active money to be able to do this. There’s no point going down this road if you know you’ll need to pull the cash out pretty quickly as you’ll lose out to fees etc.
Get A Side Hustle
A side hustle is the gateway to freedom. If you feel like you could do with just a little bit more money, then getting a side hustle is a sure way to ensure you have more disposable income.
You need to look at your skill sets. What can you do that’s marketable? If you have a degree, could you tutor on the side? Can you write? Maybe you can be a freelancer.
The extra money can be used for holidays, treats, or even for the above investing. The only issue with getting another income stream is that it will require more time. If you have time you wish to invest it can be something that might just make life a lot easier for you and your family.
If you don’t think you have a skill, then learn one. Languages are always in demand, so if you know a second language consider offering to teach it for a fee. There will certainly be something you do which can be marketed. If you like sports consider utilising that in training. If you like the gym, become a personal trainer on the side for people. There’s always something if you look hard enough.
Invest In What You Know
Investing doesn’t just have to be in stocks or in gold. Instead you can invest in things that you know well and turn it into a profit in the future. People who like art are often good at this, and in the meanwhile they get something which makes their home look great.
Another example is in whiskey. If you know your whiskey the likelihood is that you’ll know what’s going to go up in value as the years go on so you’ll know what to buy now. Investing in what you know is a great way to leverage your knowledge into something far more useful.
If you enjoy blogging or have a social following, the same applies. Simply use your blog space and grow it, then you can start to make money via affiliate links. It’s a great way to pull in some passive income, especially if you use this as your side hustle. That being said, there are plenty of people who are doing this kind of thing full time.