When you are half way through College or University, it can seem impossible to think about a time where your bank account is filled with zeros or not constantly in the red. Even these days, most people working their nose to the grindstone still struggle to make ends meet. The idea of financial safety is something that appeals to absolutely everyone, and rightly so. No-one wants to spend forever being conscious of their spending. It doesn’t take a lottery win or rich parents to enjoy life the right way.
Take some time to make a full, complete list of absolutely everything you spend your money on. Down to the smallest minutest details, this helps you understand why you’re missing that £100 after the weekend, or why your card got declined buying those shoes when you were “absolutely sure” you had the money. Things like utilities, groceries, and any insurance policies should take priority over things luxuries. Make sure you split your outgoings properly so you’re not dipping into one to feed the other. For example:
£100 Rainy Day Fund
This means even if you have to spend say, two weekends a month at home, all the essentials are covered no matter what.
It may seem terrifying, but most of the biggest success stories in the world started with small investments. Start with a small risk free investment that you know you can afford, and slowly work your way up. Do some reading in your spare time, and find out the pros/cons of the investment world. Companies like ETX Capital, a High Street foreign exchange trading platform, focus on Forex Trading, and even have an app for both iOS and Android, meaning you can keep an eye on your numbers from anywhere in the world.
Control your spending.
Some simple self-control can go a long way when it comes to finances. If you’re going grocery shopping, only take the amount you need to stop you over spending. If you’re on a night out, limit yourself to a set number of drinks. It might not seem like the most fun, but neither is being broke. Make sure you’re not constantly relying on spending to enjoy yourself, that way you can keep a better understanding of your money rather than wondering where it keeps ending up.
Don’t get a credit card
Unless it’s an absolute emergency (new car, bathroom’s flooded) etc., there should be no reason to ever get yourself into credit card debt. It’s a slippery slope having a seemingly unlimited well of money to tap into every time you see a flat screen TV or a luxury cruise, but credit cards can take a long time to pay off, even once they’ve been cut up. If you do find yourself in need of one, make sure it’s paid in full and on time every single month, and never get into the habit of just paying the minimum payment.
Nowadays, most businesses will have a pension scheme where both the employer and the employee pays in. Needing a pension might seem a long way away for some, but nobody wants to still be working when they’re 80. Speak to your employer about their pension scheme, or even talk to your bank to see what advice they can offer you.
Stay out of a dead end job
Waiting tables or crunching numbers might seem like a relatively straight forward career choice whilst you’re still studying, but if you can’t see yourself further up the ladder in a years’ time, maybe it’s time to move on. Always be aware of the next step in your career, and never let yourself, or your career get stagnant. If you feel things are getting stale, look around at what else there is, then politely speak to your management about any upcoming opportunities or a pay rise. A good company always improves the quality of its employees, so if your boss takes issue with your asking for career advancement, it’s definitely time to jump ship.