There are plenty of things you can do to build your financial health on a long-term basis, and indeed, this isn’t something that you should ignore — if you have a long-term strategy, then in the future, you’ll be able to reap the rewards of your efforts.
However, it’s not as if all things related to boosting your finances have to take years. There are things you can do right now that’ll put you on the right path, and the good news is that these things won’t necessarily require much effort!
In this blog, we’ll run through a number of things you can do that will boost your finances without having to exert all that much effort.
It’s always nice to see the savings account moving in the right direction. The problem is that sometimes it takes a conscious effort to transfer money from your primary account to your savings.
Why not simplify the process by setting up a direct transfer? Each month, a set sum, decided by you, will move into your savings. You won’t even notice it since it won’t have been in your account in the first place (if you set the transfer up for the day that you’re paid).
Switch to a Lower/Higher Rate
Interest rates can have a significant impact on your financial health. While it’s good to have a credit card (to build your credit score), if you’re not paying off the balance each month and have overly high interest on your cards, then you’re just giving money away.
Why not look at transferring the balance to a card that offers a more favorable rate. You can usually get an attractive introductory rate that’ll slash the costs.
For your credit cards, you’ll want to have the lowest rate possible. For your savings and other investments, you’ll want to have a higher rate, so look at switching that too. Both of these processes can take all of thirty minutes.
We tend to just assume that whatever price we’re paying for the services we need is just the price we have to pay. But it’s unlikely that you’re locked into any deal for a long period of time. For things like your insurance and cell phone plans, it’s worthwhile shopping around to see if there’s a cheaper option out there.
The good thing about these kinds of things is that prices are always coming down. If it’s been years since you last switched supplier, then there will almost certainly be a cheaper option out there.
Even if you don’t want to switch companies (for whatever reason), you can think about talking with your existing supplier to see if you’re on the best rate — they’ll likely be happy to cut your bill if it means that you’ll stay with them.
Review the Mortgage
There are some things that have a bigger impact on our finances than others. Your mortgage, if you have one, will be your most significant expense. But are you on the best deal? These days, it’s easy enough to remortgage your property. You might not save money, exactly, but you’ll change your financial landscape, which might put more money in your back pocket.
That’s if you’re a homeowner, but you’ll have options if you rent, too. The coronavirus pandemic has led to a significant fall in rental prices, especially in those places that may have been in a bubble. Your landlord might be happy to lower your rent by 15%, just by asking.
Put Your Assets to Work
Many people are asset-rich, cash-poor. For example, if you own a home, or a car, or have investments. While you won’t want to give up any of these things, it’s worthwhile looking to see if there’s a way to put your assets to work.
And here’s a big hint: there nearly always is! For your house, you can look at renting out a room; if you like to be around people and don’t mind sharing your space, then having a tenant can be an excellent way to bring in some much-needed cash. For your car, you can either rent it out, or offer carpool rides to places you were traveling to anyway. And if you’ve invested in cryptocurrencies, then you can use a site like HodlRate.com to find an account that’ll pay you interest on your holdings.
All of these options don’t detract from your assets; they simply make sure that you’re getting as much worth from them as possible.
Ask for a Raise
We tend to think that our salaries are set in stone, but that’s not the case, and they’re not forces of nature, either — they’re set by the employer. If you’ve been in your role for a while and know that you’re performing well, then why not look at asking for a raise?
The secret among employers is that most are happy to give their employees raises; it’s just that they don’t tend to go around the office offering them out. They know that it’s much cheaper to give a member of staff a bump in their salary than it is to find a replacement. Just by asking, you might find that you’re getting much more in your pay packet each month.
We can often fall into acquiring many expenses just through the course of living. Once we reach adulthood, we get our first monthly expense, and then in the course of several years, we find that we have, well, many, many expenses.
Some of them are necessary, of course, but not all of them are. If they’re no longer serving you, then why keep them around? Simply reviewing your costs and either eliminating them or finding ways to reduce them can make a small but noticeable difference to your financial landscape.
The Money Pit
We all have some spending habits that we know we don’t really need. For example, if you’re continually eating at restaurants/ordering takeout food, then you might be spending a significant portion of your weekly earnings on something that you just don’t need.
Or perhaps you’re buying too many clothes, records, whatever — the result is the same. If you can identify the luxuries that are really eating into your finances and find ways to reduce them, then in a few weeks or more, you’ll find that your bank balance looks much better.
If you want to really give your bank balance a boost on a short-term basis, then you could consider taking a spending break. This requires greater effort than the other tips on this list, but it also has a bigger impact. It works like this: you simply stop spending on everything but essential purchases.
We can spend a lot of money on coffee, alcohol, lunch, and things like that. While there’s nothing wrong with that, it can be worthwhile stopping for a week or two. You could feasibly raise a couple of hundred dollars this way. The key to succeeding is to remember that it’s only a short-term thing — those small pleasures that you enjoy will be back in your life sooner rather than later.
Sell Unused Goods
Finally, why not dig through the drawers and see if there’s anything you could sell? If you’re a homeowner, then you’ll probably have hundreds of dollars’ worth of goods just sitting there at your property. If you’re not using them, then sell them to someone who does want them. Depending on how much stuff you have, this could equal effectively the same as a months’ worth of pay.