Plan for your dreams and make them happen!
Ensuring that our money works hard for us and goes where we want it to involves planning as if you don’t know where you want to be, you won’t get there. Can you imagine what you could do if you made your money work hard for you? Here's 10 tips for planning ahead:
1. Where are you now with your money?
Find out what your money personality is – how you relate to money. What your attitudes and beliefs about money are? This is important as these things will influence how you use money and what you spend it on.
Have a go at our “What's my money IQ?” quiz to get an up to date picture of your current financial situation. The aim of this tool is to help you to identify whether you have any knowledge and skills gaps when it comes to your finances. There are also some questions that will help you to discover your attitudes and beliefs around money.
Complete a financial statement so that you know what your income and expenditure is . Then assess if you can increase your income or decrease your expenditure in any way?
2. What are your goals?
How do you want your finances to look? For many people, their spending is dictated by their subconscious attitudes and beliefs about money because they have never actually thought about their goals for their money. They have no plan and money is therefore frittered away on nothing. Once you know where you want to be, every spending choice then becomes about whether this will take you nearer to or further away from your goal.
3. How can you achieve your goals?
When thinking about this, you'll need to consider your resources (completing your income and expenditure and assessing if you can increase your income and decrease your expenditure should help you with this) as well as what will help you to reach your goals and what will hinder this?
4. What about Emergencies?
Don't forget to identify emergencies that may crop up and how much money you'll need to set aside for these. If it looks as if you won't have enough money to cover an emergency, considering obtaining insurance.
5. What's the FTSE doing? and stuff like that...
OK, maybe not tracking the FTSE, but consider any impact the current state of the economy may have on your decisions and what you'll be able to achieve.
6. Make sure you plan ahead by applying early for financial support
Some students apply late which means their first student loan instalment hasn't been processed by the start of term 1. We know the forms you have to fill in to apply for your tuition fee loan, student loan and grant are really long and it's tempting to keep on putting it off but sit down and set aside some time to fill it in.
7. SAVE SAVE SAVE
Look at your income and expenditure and ask yourself: can I save anything? Even if it's ony a few pounds a week, it's a good habit to get into.
8. Build yourself up
Get motivated to keep to your plans by getting support either from Money Doctors or a friend.
Things change. Keep your plans and records up to date with how things are.
10. Use your imagination
As we said at the top of this page: "IMAGINE what you could do if you made your money work hard for you".