Budgeting Good Money Habits

There are loads of good money habits which you should adopt to help ensure that your money is safe and that you have a healthy bank balance. Here we look at some good money habits that can help set you up for a financially secure future.

Start a budget – obviously!

Of course budgeting was going to be top of the list! It doesn’t matter what you earn or how much or how little you have in savings, learning to budget your money is one of the best financial decisions you can make. Having a budget has many benefits but essentially, it’s the best tool for managing your money and ensuring that you don’t overspend.

Check Credit Score

It’s really important to keep an eye on your credit score as it gives you an idea as to how healthy your financial history has been. This information is used by banks and other lenders when you apply for credit.

If you have a healthy credit score, it’s likely that you’ll be approved should you apply for a loan. However, if your credit score is low, it’s unlikely lenders will consider giving you credit. Money Saving Expert, Martin Lewis, has lots of advice on how to improve your credit rating and make yourself more attractive to lenders.

The bottom line is always keep an eye on your credit score as it can also alert you to fraudulent activity on your accounts.

Use Credit Cards Wisely

Credit Cards sometimes get a bad rep but they can be really useful – as long as you use them wisely. Credit cards can offer more security when making big purchases but it’s important that you don’t default on the minimum repayments as this will result in a mark on your credit score. If possible, it’s best to clear your card as soon as possible to avoid interest charges.

Another good money tip is to never withdraw cash on a credit card as this is considered to be poor money management and may negatively affect your credit score.

Security

This one goes without saying but one of the best money habits you can adopt is to ensure that your banking and online passwords are as secure as possible. Make sure that you use a Password Manager and never use personal information to create passwords.

Be weary about the information you share online as this can be used by criminals who wish to impersonate you.

Check accounts regularly

You won’t know how much money you’ve got if you’re not checking your accounts on a regular basis. It’s also good to keep an eye on your accounts so that you can spot errors or duplicate payments. If there’s transactions that you don’t recognise, raise this with your bank immediately.

Avoid impulse spending

If you’re about to buy something which you haven’t included in your budget, stop! We’re not saying don’t buy it but wait a day. If you still want it, add it to your flexible spending on your budget and buy it. Taking the time to think about a purchase will make you more aware of what you’re spending and may help you cut unnecessary impulse spending.

This is especially true if you’re shopping online. It’s so easy to click a button and spend without even thinking about it. But try leaving things in your basket and coming back to it. Your bank balance might be healthier for it!

Build an emergency fund AND savings

If you thought an emergency fund and savings are the same thing, we’re sorry to tell you that’s a budgeting myth. We’ve explained the importance of building savings in our Budgeting Q&As but we really can’t stress this enough. Unexpected events can take us all by surprise so it’s important that you have money set aside to take care of emergencies. But remember, your emergency fund should be separate from your savings. The first is for the short-term things which must be dealt with now, the latter is more long-term and helps you in the future.

Prepare kids to be good with money

We’ve written an article about helping kids to understand budgeting and it really is one of the best things you can do for your children’s future. No matter how old they are, help them to understand how money and budgeting works. We guarantee that they will thank-you in the future!

Review your budget regularly

Just as you should keep an eye on your bank accounts, you should keep an eye on your budget too. There may be things you need to adjust or you might realise that there are subscriptions you’re not using anymore. Make sure you review your budget regularly and make any necessary changes.

If you have any other good money habits which you think should make it on to this list, drop us an email on support@costs-to-expect.com!