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In times of uncertainty, it’s never been a better time to take stock of your finances and think about ways to make your money work harder and smarter for you. It might not always be possible to save money every month, and that’s ok too. Managing money doesn’t always need to involve scrimping or compromising in areas of your lifestyle. However, it does mean you may have to realign your mindset to make the most out of the funds available.

If you’re looking to take control of your financial situation and make life more comfortable, check out these top tips.

Budgeting effectively

Creating a budget is one of the best ways to get started. This is a straightforward list of everything that goes in and out of your accounts, looking at necessities and luxuries. It’s best to be realistic about what is on this list because everything should be accounted for, including those coffees every day on the way to work. Once you have this list, it’s time to set a budget. This could be weekly or monthly and make it achievable. There’s no point in stripping it right back to then go way over it because it means you’ll give up more quickly.

Consolidate your debt

It’s natural to have debt at points in your life. However, if you’re looking to get the figure down, think about consolidating outstanding balances. If you have credits cards with high-interest rates, it is possible to apply for and receive very bad credit loans to bring everything together and pay off one amount rather than several each month. This type of finance could help you pay the debt off quicker, so you have fewer outgoings in your budget.

Analyse your expenses

We all have those guilty pleasures, but the amount we spend on them can start to add up. Just buying a few clothing items here and eating out there will be taking its toll on your bank balance. If you’re looking to control your money better, analysing your expenses is vital. Make a list of everything that you spend money on each day. You might even want to itemise shopping if you think you’re going a little bit too crazy at the supermarket. By looking at each element you spend, you can begin to build a picture of the areas you could cut back on. If you don’t think you’d miss it, start taking it out your expenses.

Use an app to help

You do not have to do this alone, as it can seem daunting in the beginning. To get a handle on everything and to make sure the whole family are on the same page, use an app to help. There are tons of budgeting and banking apps that help you manage incomings and outgoings better, and analyses everything for you so you don’t have to spend hours making spreadsheets.

Some of the best apps include:

Money Dashboard – ideal for budgeting for future goals
Emma – This will help you cut down on unnecessary spending
Yolt – Ideal for tracking spending across different accounts

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