Budgeting is a life skill which, as discussed before in blog posts, perhaps should be taught clearly to young people on the hunt for a satisfying career. The road to prosperity in this day and age, sadly, will require you to balance more than a few books – especially if you are hoping to undertake additional training and/or education alongside earning money. The absolute best thing you can do right now in the face of rising costs and demands is to be smarter about the way you spend your money – while we’ve already discussed ways in which new workers can effectively budget and keep their financial health topped up while working hard, here are a few smart ideas you should be taking note of once you’re on your way up your career ladder of choice – so that you can remain comfortable and prosperous for years to come.
Be Savings Smart
Finding enough money to save at all can be a little bit of a struggle if you’re just starting out, but once you’ve shown aptitude and are working your way into a lucrative career, you should hopefully be able to sacrifice a small amount of your wage each month to put aside for more than just a rainy day. Preparing for savings is essential – and you’ll be making a smart move by looking for an ISA which offers a first-year interest rate that stands to give you a considerable return on just a small contribution. ISA interest rates can dip after the first year or so, so remember to switch to another provider or account by the following April, when the next tax year starts – and you’ll be able to take advantage of a whole new interest rate to boost your saving contributions.
Don’t Ignore Pensions
You may not be anywhere near retirement age just yet, but ignoring the importance of pensions is hardly a wise move. You’ll already be contributing a certain amount to National Insurance through a standard salary, which will go towards your state pension – you can unlock this when you retire – but don’t forget to take full advantage of your workplace pension as a top-up, too. Your workplace is obliged to match any contributions you make from your wage into your pension pot each month – meaning that you’ll get double your money. Focus on shaving some of your monthly wage into your private pension and you’ll get double the reward when you retire.
Keep Your Receipts
It’s tempting to splash cash around if you have a windfall, but your future career will depend upon any financial moves you make in the here and now. Consider tracking your expenses on a daily basis, keeping track of any receipts or large investments you make. If you work for yourself or are to complete a tax return, keeping track of allowable expenses is an absolute must, too – as this means you’ll be able to effectively lower the amount you clear with HMRC when your next payments are due.
Be a Debt Dynamo
Getting into debt is never a nice business – and while those who have undertaken education in the UK in the last few years may already have a certain amount of student debt to pay back when they retire, you can do well to avoid adding any more on top. Credit cards can be useful, and can be tempting, but you should only ever enter into this type of arrangement if you can feasibly stand to pay back what’s expected of you each month. It’s strongly advised you avoid payday lenders altogether – while they’ve lowered their APR considerably since regulatory bodies got involved, it can still a bit of a struggle to get free from this type of lending.
If you do find yourself owing money to one or more lenders or sources in the months to come, don’t panic – there are plenty of options available to you, from consolidating your debts to consulting debt advice experts for further support. Being clear and up front with debt will be healthy for your finances, your career and your mental health – so don’t let things mount up and fester if you can help it.
Look to the Future
Even if you’re already a fair way up the pecking order, you should never stop moving – forward is the only direction you should be heading in when it comes to your finances as well as your career! Always plan and budget with tomorrow in mind, starting today.