For sound financial health

Staying out of financial trouble is something that we all want, but again there is no guarantee of that though we may have a good job. There are few basic rules, which can be very beneficial for your financial health.

• Work out a budget and stick to it, which means spending less than you earn. Many people say, ‘I don’t know where my money goes.’ This will not happen if you budget correctly; your purse may still be empty, but at least you will know exactly where the money went! No matter how boring you find it, it is an essential first step in managing your finances.

• Get organised. Start a file for financial matters and keep your accounts in order.

• Always save a regular amount of your income. As the old saying goes, ‘Look after the pennies and the pounds will look after themselves.’ Small amounts will build up over time into substantial sums.

• Build an emergency fund in case of the unexpected crisis, and a ‘fun’ fund as everyone needs an occasional splurge on a night out or new outfit.

• Have financial goals. Having something to save for example a holiday, a car, your own home, will inspire you to persevere with your budget when the going gets tough.

• Pay off debts as quickly as possible. Interest rates charged on loans can mount up very quickly. Always pay the debt earning the highest interest first.

• Avoid impulse spending. Don’t buy what you do-n’t need. Before buying an item, ask yourself how many hours you would have to work to pay for it.

• Be careful with credit cards. These can be a recipe for disaster, tempting you to buy things you cannot afford. Credit cards are not free, and the interest rates are high.

• Avoid activities or substances that may become addictive like gambling, alcohol or cigarettes. These can easily lead to financial ruin, not only for you but also for your family.