Make your money go further...
It's one thing doing extra shifts to top up your salary, but one thing we doctors don't always think about is what to do next — the best way to manage your money. We may be quite comfortable putting in cannulas, maintaining someone's airway, and of course, doing TTOs. But when do we get taught about taking control of our finances?
For some of us, saving might be something as simple as moving a portion of our salary into a bank account every month. But is this really the best way to help it to grow? Or even to stay afloat?
In today’s blog we show you three essential steps to follow to make sure your money goes further.
Step 1: Budget. It may seem obvious, but there is no point in thinking about saving until you have a good feel for how much you’re spending vs. how much you are earning. Luckily in this day and age, it isn’t such a chore to work this out. There are a growing number of apps and websites that will help you do this — some can even link to your bank account and automatically categorise or ’tag’ transactions based on where you’ve shopped. Yolt or Money Dashboard are worth checking out for this.
Step 2: Get ‘rewarded’ for your normal spending. Certain expenses are unavoidable, be this fuel, groceries or utility bills. Did you know you can earn cashback on all of these? There are a small number of credit cards out there that will get you between 0.5-1% cashback on all of your spend. Some even pay a bonus if you choose to receive your cash back in vouchers. You can even get cash back just for switching your bank account. Also be sure to check out cashback websites and services that essentially pay you back a portion of your spending when you click through unique links.
Step 3: Store your savings sensibly. Make some wise decisions here and you can make some significant gains (even in this era of low interest rates!). Firstly — ask yourself, are you saving for a house or just for a rainy day? If you want to get your foot onto the property ladder it’s definitely worth considering a LISA (Lifetime ISA). This is essentially a bank account into which you can put up to £4,000 per tax year. The government will pay a 25% bonus to top this up when you use it towards the deposit for a house. If you can afford to save more than £4,000 in a single year, you can then look at other ways of saving. Consider opening a cash ISA or stocks and shares ISA, or if you want easy access to your money, consider switching your main bank account, as some of these will pay good levels of interest!
We hope this gives you a little bit of inspiration to see how you can make your money go further. If you want to find out more, I recommend you check out Martin Lewis’s www.moneysavingexpert.com — an independent website which has really useful guides to all of the above and more.