There are many people that will have a savings pot because they want money for the future. Other people may …
There are many people that will have a savings pot because they want money for the future. Other people may look at them and just wonder why they are bothering to do this. There are actually a lot of good reasons to have some savings for the future and it is worth thinking about these and whether they might be something that you should perhaps concentrate on getting for yourself.
To Have Money Ready for Retirement
Some people like to make sure that they will have a lot of money available for when they retire. Some people may be happy to use their pension for this or just see what happens nearer the time. However, others like to be better planned and will try to have a lump sum of money available too. This means that if they want to go on holiday or need to buy mobility aids or even pay for a carer, they will have the funds available to be able to afford to do this. It is something that some people just do not want to think about or feel will look after itself when the time comes. However, others would rather be well prepared in case they need this money and they feel a sense of security knowing that it is there for them.
To Have Money in Case of Job Loss
Some people like to have some money available in case they lose their job. This might be because they are in a field of work where jobs are not very secure so they worry that they could be likely to be made redundant. It might be that they are a contractor, freelancer or self-employed so they feel that they may be likely to have times when they are not able to earn money. It could be that they are just cautious and get a feeling of security knowing that money is there. Some may have a few months money, assuming that they should be able to find work fairly quickly, but some might like to have a few years worth of money just in case they have a long time out of work. If they are self-employed this could be more necessary as if they get unwell and cannot work, they will not get any sick pay.
For Large Purchases
Some people like to have money available in case they have a large purchase to make. This could be for a deposit on house, to buy a vehicle or a big holiday. It can be nice just to have the money in case your vehicle breaks down and you suddenly need it or you decide that you would like a holiday and you do not want to borrow. It can be a good alternative to use savings instead of borrowing money because you will not have to pay interest on it. You will lose some interest on the savings though and you will need to think about whether it is worth losing that interest rather than getting a loan. Loans usually charge more interest than you would pay on savings anyway.
Some people just like to have some money put by for emergencies. They like to think that there will be money available if they have an unexpected cost. So, if they get a bill to pay that they had forgotten needed paying or they need to replace something in the home that is broken, the money will be there. Not only will it normally be cheaper to use savings compared to borrowing, it can be more convenient as well as the money will be readily available if it is in an instant access account.
It can sometimes be really frustrating if you are trying to spend less money but the other people in your …
It can sometimes be really frustrating if you are trying to spend less money but the other people in your household are spending lots. So, if you want to reduce the electric bill but they keep leaving all the lights on, for example, it can be really annoying. There are things that you could try though which should help to improve the situation.
Sit Everyone Down for a Chat
It is a good idea to get everyone together and have a chat about the situation. Explain to them that you want to spend less money on things and how you propose achieving this. Explain to them what their part will be to play in order to help with this. Make sure that you make it clear how you will all benefit from doing this. Check whether they have any problems with what you are asking them to do so that you can make sure that you are all in agreement with the goal and the way to achieve it. For example, if you want the heating turned down but someone gets cold, then try to come up with a compromise, perhaps by heating just one room for them to stay in or by finding a different way to reduce the energy usage elsewhere. If you have children then you will obviously need a different approach and this will also vary depending on whether they are young or adults.
Make it a Competition
It can be fun to make it into a competition. So perhaps see who is able to reduce the amount of money that they cost the most. So perhaps by reducing snack foods, using less water, walking instead of asking for lifts in the car and things like this. It could be wise to perhaps to come up with a list of areas where money could be saved and then challenge the family to tick as many off as they can in a week or month and see who manages the most. Obviously, these things will have to vary depending on which household member they are directed at as children will not be driving anywhere but maybe just not asking for a lift somewhere could count. There could be lots of different ways that you could do it and make it fun and challenging as well as something which will be valuable.
It can be worth having rewards though. It is a good idea to think about whether you want to give these for specific targets or whether you are all saving money so that you can buy a specific thing which will then be your rewards, perhaps if you are saving for a family holiday, for example. You may think it will be better to have smaller rewards more regularly, but just make sure that they are not too expensive or else you could end up undoing all the good that you have done when you cut down the spending so much.
Keep it Going
It is worth thinking about how you will encourage everyone to keep going with it in the long term. Hopefully some good habits will remain, but you will need to keep a check on it. If you have saved up and had your holiday, it could be easy to slip back into old habits, but perhaps it will be wise to set your next goal so that you can make sure that stay focussed or keep on with the competition or reward system so that it continues. Try to keep it fun though, you do not want to get stressed about it, just keep focussing on the benefits.
Each month it may feel like your pay disappears way to quickly. It might feel like once you have paid …
Each month it may feel like your pay disappears way to quickly. It might feel like once you have paid all your bills and bought the things you have been waiting for that there is not much money left for you for the rest of the month. This can mean that you feel like you are always struggling towards the end of the month or that you never have much left to be able to save or to use to repay debts or things like this. There are things that you can do though, which will help you to be able to have more money available to spend.
Check You are not Overpaying on your Bills
it can be a good idea to start by making sure that you are not paying too much for those bills your regularly pay. Things like insurance and utilities will often just be paid automatically, with the money going out each month and us hardly noticing. It is a good idea to try to stop this and make sure that you do notice what is going out as you may be able to reduce it. If you renew yearly, then make sure that you do a price comparison and make sure that you are not paying too much. Otherwise, check right now and see whether there is a cheaper company you can go with. It might seem like a hassle to do this research and switch to new supplier, but it can save a significant amount of money. You can use a comparison site to check prices and that will let you know very easily whether you are paying too much. If you do not want to switch then telephone your supplier and tell them that you feel you are paying too much as there are much cheaper deals available from other companies and they may reduce the amount that you are paying.
Only Buy What is Necessary Initially
It is a good idea to start the month with just buying that items that are necessary for you to buy or pay for. So, there will be bills that you have to pay and food to buy and things like that. Once you are sure that all of these things have been paid for then you will be able to see what is left. This money will need to last you through the month and so you should be careful to make sure that you do not spend too much of it to start with. It can be worth making a note of what things you have to regularly pay for and when you have to pay for them as well as this will allow you to be able to plan for those as well and make sure that you have enough money available.
Think Carefully About Each Purchase
It is a good idea to think really carefully about every item that you want to purchase. You need to consider whether you really want the items as well as how much they cost. Think about how much money you have and whether this is an amount that you want to spend at this point in the month considering how long there is to go and what else you may want to buy. You need to also think about whether you really want that item anyway and if you can justify spending that much money. Think about whether there is an expensive item that you may need in the future and whether you should try to hold back on spending so that you can afford that.
When you have a home you will need utilities such as water gas and electricity. Water tends to be supplied …
When you have a home you will need utilities such as water gas and electricity. Water tends to be supplied by one company in each area and so you will just have to go with that company, regardless of what you think of them. However, gas and electricity can be supplied by a lot of different companies and it can be worth comparing them in different ways so that you can pick the one that you think will suit you the best.
The cost will often be one of the most if not the most important thing for us. Even if it is not the most important, it will still be likely to be a factor in deciding. You will find that different utility companies charge different rates. It can be confusing because they could charge in different ways to each other. For example, you could find that they might have different standing charges to each other as well as different usage rates. Some may charge a certain amount for the certain amount of energy you use and then perhaps a different amount once you have used a certain amount. It can be rather confusing. The only way that you can really compare is to let a supplier know how much energy you used the previous year and then see what they would have charged you and compare it. Obviously, you may not use the same amount each year, but this will give a general idea and will let you be able to think about whether there are some providers that will be significantly cheaper than others. At this point you might just decide to go with the cheapest provider.
Some people do worry about going with the cheapest provider. They hope that they will be able to find a provider that they know will offer good value for money and therefore, as well as being cheap, they want one that will provide them with a good service as well. Most will be similar and you will just hope that they will be able to provide a continuous energy supply and that you will be able to pay your bills how you wish to. However, you might want to have a look at some of the reviews of the companies as well as possibly chat to people you know to find out what people think of them. You could also find out what they might look out for in a good and bad utility company and whether they might be able to offer you any tips on which to avoid and why as well as which they will recommend to you. If you have heard of the company you might feel more reassured, but make sure that you do not pick them solely on this unless you can remember why you have heard of them. Just because a lot of people use them does not necessarily mean they are good, it might just mean that they advertise a lot so people know the name and think they trust them.
Customer service can be an important factor. This is because you may need to contact them if you have any problems. You will want to make sure that you are happy with them and that they will be able to help you with anything you need. It can be a good idea to contact them before you switch over so that you know how easy this is and how helpful and polite they are when you do contact them. It can be reassuring to know that you are with a company that are helpful and easy to get through to.
Although children are now getting some financial education in some schools, the curriculum is still very limited as there are …
Although children are now getting some financial education in some schools, the curriculum is still very limited as there are so many things that they have to learn on the curriculum. As they approach an age when they start to get interested in money, they also reach a time when they need to cover important work on the school curriculum and may not be able to have the time to learn it then. This means that it can often be down to parents to help their children and they may need some pointers with this.
Talk Them Through the Things You Have to Pay for
It can be useful for them to know what sorts of things you have to pay for and how much they cost. This will help them to be prepared that they will not just be earning as an adult and be able to buy whatever they like but also help them to realise the importance of getting a decent wage. For example, if they know how much you have to pay on all of your household bills each month it will help them to think about how they will pay for theirs and whether they should be starting to think about how they are going to be able to afford it as they are older. It can also be a good opportunity to talk to them about how you budget to make sure that you have enough money so that you can afford to pay all of the bills. If you find it hard to manage, tell them that so that they have an understanding of how important it is to make sure that you are really careful with your money and how you use it.
Explain Good and Bad Debt
It can also be a good idea to have a chat with them about good and bad debt. It is easy to misunderstand debt and some people think we should never borrow money because it always leads to problems or that we should treat debt as if it is extra spending money. Neither attitude is a wise one to have. We should use debt when we need it to help to better ourselves, such as to buy ourselves a home. We should not use it just to buy treats and luxuries as this will means that we will end up paying out a lot more money. We should also think carefully about which type of loan will suit our needs the best and compare the costs of loans so that we are able to make sure that we are not paying more than necessary for the loan that we have taken out. Also, that we check first as to how much the repayments will be so that we are sure that we will be able to afford them.
Explain the Importance of Saving
It can also be a good idea to make sure that we are careful to explain how important it is to save money. Saving up money can give us money to use if we need money quickly, perhaps because we have got an unexpected bill or need to pay to repair or replace something. It is also reassuring to know that you have money available if you lose your job or cannot work for some reason as well. You will also be able to save up for things and buy them without having the expense of borrowing money. Helping them to start saving at a young age, by opening them a savings account and encouraging them to save money instead of spending it or saving some and spending some can be a good way to also help them to learn about saving.
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