As the end of the current financial year is fast approaching, I’ve realised that I need to start thinking about my personal finance and how to improve it for the coming year. As a single mother, managing my finances is something that is often in my mind. Here are some things that I’ve been considering lately.
1. Use Personal Finance Spreadsheets
For each new financial year, I set up new spreadsheets to keep track of my spending. I find these extremely useful and as I have done these for many years, I now seem to be quite accurate in my predictions of the total amount of money I have in the bank at any time. My spreadsheets are quite simple. I include the date, a description of the activity in my account, incomings, outgoings and the total amount in my account. I do this for each day of the financial year.
2. Use Online Banking
I tend to check my spreadsheet regularly to see if it is similar to my actual bank account. Now and again, I do have unexpected expenses, such as car repairs but generally I keep within the predictions that I make. I find online banking to be a great tool for keeping an eye on my personal finances as well as my business finances. An online bank account is useful for me as I am able to check the current state of my financial affairs anytime I’d like to. Keeping my spreadsheet information and bank account details in mind seems to keep me in check so that I don’t overspend. I’ve been reading about how to get the most from my current account recently to see if I need to change or update anything.
3. Read Financial News Regularly
I spend a few minutes per day looking at news reports on finance. I read, amongst others, the BBC reports from about when the interest rates are likely to rise so that I can keep some money aside for when my variable rate mortgage interest will increase. I have a look on News.Markets to read about UK and worldwide financial matters that might affect me. I also have also looked into how to get personal loans, when my workplace had difficulties with paying their employees. Getting my personal finances in order is a priority for me as without these being well organised, it is more difficult to get my business finances in order too. Forbes has a fab article on this subject. Reading and finding more about finances can help you to organise your own finances better, in my opinion. As they say, knowledge is power. Being oblivious to Council Tax rises, interest rate rises, the share market and not knowing about help that you can get on low income, for example, can make managing your own money more difficult.