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Staying ahead of your finances in 2020

If 2020 is the year you're keen to get ahead with saving or to improve your financial situation, there are several steps you can take. In this guide, we'll talk about tried and tested methods you can employ to grow your money, avert financial problems and build a brighter, more prosperous future.
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Staying ahead of your finances

Many people are working towards the goal of becoming more financially stable and secure in 2020. Taking control of your finances shouldn’t just be a New Year’s resolution. Committing to making changes and taking positive steps is an excellent way to build for the future. If you’re eager to stay ahead, here are some strategies to try.

Budgeting and tracking spending

We live in a world where it’s possible to pay bills and buy products without getting coins out, signing on a dotted line or writing a cheque. Thanks to direct debits, instant payments and contactless technology, the speed and simplicity of transactions have increased dramatically. While this has many benefits, it can be challenging to keep track of spending. Budgeting is an effective means to monitor your balances and keep an eye on payments coming into and going out of your account. Use internet banking and money management apps to help you reduce spending and save, and draw up a budget every month.

Analysing previous goals and setting new targets

To make improvements in the future, it’s often beneficial to look back. If you’re on a mission to boost your finances in 2020, take a look at how you fared in 2019, analyse your goals and set new objectives. If you failed to meet savings targets or your debts increased, for example, think about ways you can hit new targets this year. Paying more attention to your finances, sticking to a budget and cutting out non-essential expenses can all help to set you off on the right foot.

Understanding your rights and entitlements

Many of us have taken out loans or invested in pensions. If you watch the news or you have a keen interest in economics, you’ve probably heard about PPI claims and mis-sold pensions. If you have concerns about financial advice you have received or you think you could claim for a mis-sold pension, it’s crucial to seek help and to understand your rights. If you have been let down by a financial organisation or an expert, don’t hesitate to seek claims advice. Consumers should always be able to trust professionals who claim to be experts in their field to provide the best possible advice.

Preparing for the worst

Nobody started the year thinking that by the end of March, millions of people would be in lockdown across the world. The coronavirus pandemic has highlighted the unpredictability of life and the importance of being prepared for all eventualities. The global cost of Covid-19 is expected to reach around $1tn, according to the UN Trade Agency. If you are able to put money aside on a regular basis, it’s incredibly beneficial to set up an emergency fund. Use your budget to establish how much you can afford to save each month and try and avoid touching that SOS pot unless you absolutely have to. An emergency fund could help to cover loss of earnings if you lose your job or you’re unable to work, or contribute to medical fees or urgent repairs for your car or home, for example. It’s not always possible to react instantly to every obstacle or hurdle, but if you can work towards this goal, you can enjoy peace of mind and a more stable financial future.

Growing your money

If you’re in a position where you have a pot of money you’re looking to invest, it pays to explore ways to grow your money. There are various investment options, with the most popular being real estate. Buying bricks and mortar provides you with a tangible asset that is likely to appreciate over a period of time. As a property investor, you could look to buy, renovate and sell or to buy to let. The first option might enable you to see returns faster, but the second will contribute to long-term benefits. If you are looking to buy a rental property or a house to fix up and sell, it’s critical to monitor the market and buy at the right time. If demand is low and the economy is struggling, it will be much more difficult to generate profits.

2020 is turning out to be an eventful and unpredictable year, but that doesn’t mean that it’s impossible to stay ahead of your finances and take control of your money.

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