Improving money management could change your life.

Money – problems with it, a lack of it and debt – consistently top the charts of the things that make us feel the most stressed. No matter what your financial position, or what you do for a living, there’s plenty of evidence to suggest that better money habits can help to reduce stress and make you feel better about life. When you can manage your money well you will improve your credit score, be able to borrow more cheaply and become less reliant on personal loans. Good money managers never have to resort to bad credit loans or maxing out their credit card to get by until the next pay cheque so it’s worth learning this habit. Here’s how:

Live within your means

Being able to live comfortably on what you earn is one of the best money habits to get into early on. If you’re living within your means then you’re able to meet your payments and you’re not faced with being short of cash before the end of the month rolls around. Living within your means gives you options, from being able to save for a rainy day, to having the choice to borrow for constructive purchases, such as a home or education.

Learn to budget

Not being in control of our cash is perhaps one of the most stressful experiences when it comes to money. That’s why budgeting is such an important habit to get into if you’re looking for a happiness boost. Budgeting ensures that you always know how much you have in the bank and that there aren’t likely to be any nasty surprises. It enables you to set financial goals and enjoy the satisfaction of taking steps to achieve them.

Use your money for something positive

Charity donations or supporting projects that make a difference or give something back can be a great way to get more from the money that you have. Giving makes us feel good, especially if we can see the money we give going to help create change. Even if you don’t have much cash to spare there is a lot to feel good about from small donations, whether that’s to animal charities, children’s illness research organisations or a crowdfunding project creating something innovative.

Buy in advance

A number of studies have shown that when we buy something in advance we generally tend to feel happier than if we’re paying for something at the same time as we get it. Buy now pay later, on the other hand, can have the opposite effect making us less happy as the money owed hangs over us for longer. So, if you’re looking to make a positive change to spending habits try getting into the habit of advanced purchasing.

Save

Having money in the bank creates all sorts of positive feelings. From pride in your ability to save, to the security of knowing that you have money available for the future, saving is a very sound financial habit to have.

Enjoy what you earn

Spending money can be a tricky business – decisions are often made on the basis of what we feel we “should” be using our cash for, rather than what we actually want to spend money on. Enjoying your money is a great money habit to have. Work out what you spend money on that makes you happy, whether that’s coffee, travel, giving and/or family and friends and then (within your means) do more of that.

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