It’s difficult enough trying to juggle your household budget, pay the rent on time and afford both the new shoes you absolutely need and a drink after work, without worrying about saving as well. After all, later in your career you’ll be paid better and can consider financial planning then.
Actually, it’s always wise to have one eye on the future. Not that we’re suggesting you plan your life from birth to death but you never know what might happen, especially in monetary matters.
Good savings habits do last a lifetime, even though it seems like if you want or need something that you can’t quite afford you can always get out a loan or credit card, or extend your overdraft a bit. Often, the amount you will be charged in interest sometimes means you will be paying off that few hundred quid you borrowed for a week’s cheap holiday, or the thousand or so you needed for the deposit on a flat, for many years to come.
And here’s a quick word of caution if you find yourself in a situation where you must have a loan and you want it quickly. Never be seduced by so-called “payday loans” – businesses which will lend you a few hundred quid until payday. The rate of interest on this is truly extortionate, and if you don’t pay back in time the consequences can be dire. Rather try borrowing from parents or relatives if it comes to this, or bite the bullet and negotiate with your landlord if it’s a matter of the rent being late. Sometimes they can be surprisingly sympathetic.
But that still leaves the problem of saving money. It may be difficult but there’s a good reason to do it: research suggests that the age of retirement may be raised all the way up to the age of 84 by the time many young professionals reach retirement, and by putting something away for your old age now, if you fancy retiring before you’re too old to enjoy it you might have more control in the matter.
Simple things like saving money on food by avoiding ready meals and making food from scratch, checking that your gas and electricity are on the right tariffs, and booking trains in advance can save lots of money. Creating a household budget and sticking to it will help you to see where the cash goes to. As well as this, you may have a little more money than you thought you did.
When you start a new job often put on an emergency tax code, or simply the wrong one. If you are in part time work and perhaps studying at the same time, you may not have used up your whole tax allowance for each year. So guess what? You can probably get some back.
All of these steps are small but significant, and can leave you feeling much more confident about your money and your future. Here’s to your financial health in 2015!
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