Money, the one thing most of us wish we got more of (for less work ideally – or is that just me?) Occasionally a bit of a taboo to discuss but I think it’s important we girls start to focus on it. Studies have shown that many women low-key expect some dude to just show up and have it all sorted. I mean I wouldn’t mind marrying a billionaire 😀 but are we doing enough for ourselves to make sure we’re getting that paper and doing the most with it?
Below are six of my top tips to stay on top of my finances and make them work for me:
(Note that I am not a financial advisor and in no way should my tips be taken as such; these are just a few things that I have found useful and I wish someone had told me sooner)
Get clued up
The first step to feeling comfortable and confident in managing your cash is in knowing more. One of the best books I have EVER read on the topic is called Love is Not Enough by Merryn Somerset Webb (get the paperback from Amazon for £10 here or £5 Kindle version here). It is a book on finances for women and i can’t recommend it enough! Literally as soon as i read it I opened new saving account, started investing, felt generally empowered and just would not shut up about it…my friends wanted to kill me :DAnother good read is Mrs Moneypenny’s Financial Advice for Independent WomenThere are loads of other resources too, sites like MoneySavingExpert.com, ThisIsMoney.co.uk provide a wealth of information and advice. Use these to your advantage and learn more about personal finance, you’ll be surprised how straightforward some things can be!
It could be £40 a month, it could be £400. Regardless, aim to put some cash away regularly. You’ll thank yourself later when you have a tidy little nest egg.”But Lou, I don’t earn enough to save”…yes you do! If you are earning, you can save. No matter how little, it will add up in time.I must point out something I’ve read a lot which makes a lot of sense, and that is if you have debt on which you’re paying interest then that should be your priority. For example if you’re paying creditors £40 in interest every month, and your savings account only pays you £5/month in interest then it’s probably worth focusing on clearing the debt first. Pay off your debts as quickly as possible, starting with those with the highest interest rates.
Make your money work for you
Right so you’ve got point 2 in place and saved a bit of cash, what do you do now? Make that baby work. I’m talking high interest savings accounts, stocks, bonds, whatever…this is 2017 there’s no need to be hiding money under your mattress (do people still do that?) Do your research and find an option that works for you, you might be happy to lock your money away for a couple of years for a good return, or you might want to have instant access to it in case you need to buy an emergency pair of shoes…Did I say shoes, I meant um…nvm. Anyway the point is that there are many different ways to earn returns on your savings.My personal preference was the cash ISA, however with the new regulation which increased your non-taxable allowance and the shitty Bank of England rate atm, I ended up opting for a high* rate current account.(*I say high – the rate is still pretty crap but it was the highest I found at the time)
Am I the only one that sang that in my head lol? I compare prices on EVERYTHING…as in, it’s no joke! From car insurance to dishwasher tablets to energy providers, I will shop around to make sure I’m getting the best value for money. This is something I try to get bae to do too and he’s almost as bad as me now. But it’s brilliant because we save on so much (and promptly splurge on other stuff haha), I can’t recommend it enough.There are lots of comparison sites out there, use them! Some of my faves are:
- Comparethemarket.com for insurance and utilities
- Which.co.uk for reviews and top rated household items
- Gocompare.com of course, although funny emough I use comparethemarket more
- Amazon as an alternative to supermarkets on tonnes of stuff like detergent, protein shakes, toilet roll etc – even better if you have Prime
Get a second income
So if you run your own business then kudos to you, but if like me you’re working a 9-5 then you may consider plumping up your revenue with a “side hustle”. This is definitely not for everyone sha, I mean if you’re already making big bucks or fully satisfied with your job then this might seem long. Otherwise definitely think about what your passions are, and how they can be monetised.For example, I love home decor and hosting so Airbnb is a great option for me. Other quick wins could be:
- Babysitting or even opening a daycare – if you already have young kids, you could consider looking after others too. Note that there are some strict prerequisites
- If you have beauty skills you could consider doing part-time work as a make up artist or hair stylist
- A love for photography can lead to freelance work as a photographer at events, You could start with casual events for friends and family to build your portfolio and who knows where it could lead
- Language skills can be put to use as a translator or tutor depending on your levelThese are just some examples, have a think about where your skills lie and you’ll be surprised what you could do.
Finally the most important point, you’re not going to get anywhere by burying your head in the sand. Get up and get going – “tomorrow you’ll wish you started today”.It is extremely empowering to feel in control of your money, now in my thirties I feel confident that I (at least roughly) know what’s going on in my bank account and no finance jargon is going to be used to terrify or swindle me – touch wood, abeg 419ers leave me oh!
I hope this post helps you find some of your finanacial power. Join the conversation, leave a comment below if you found this interesting or if you have any other finance tips to share.