Opinion: Keeping your money working for you

AS THE COST of living continues to rise, how do we make our money work harder? What can we do to stretch our income from the beginning of the month to the end?

There’s no denying that living has become increasingly expensive and once cheap commodities are now very costly, thanks to the perfect storm of supply chain issues post-pandemic and the war in Ukraine. It is always a good idea to be fully aware of your financial situation but nowadays even more so.

While we know that having lots of disposable income doesn’t necessarily make people happier, having too little cash can cause a lot of stress and sleepless nights. Worry or anxiety about money can affect people’s mental health.

Planning helps

One of the reasons people go to financial planners is for peace of mind and the luxury of being able to sleep well at night! A recent survey of our own clients found that almost 45% of respondents agreed that since engaging a financial planner they feel ‘generally more confident’, almost 41% agreed they feel ‘generally less anxious’ and 57% said they have a ‘clearer sense of direction’.

In the same survey, when asked ‘Do you feel happier when you save, spend or share money?’ 48% said they felt happier when they saved, 40% when they shared and just 12% when they spent money.

Anxiety and avoidance create a vicious cycle, but is it really possible to make our money stretch further and be smarter about spending? The good news is yes, the bad news is, it takes a bit of planning and work to do so.

My top 10 tips for making money work harder include:

1. Review all incomings and outgoings so you have a clear picture of your monthly cost of living. Review all subscriptions and direct debits and assess if they are all necessary.

2. Pay for items in full instead of…

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