Nine clever money hacks every working mum needs to know
When it comes to cash, every working mum who is serious about making money should be on top of her bank balance. You don’t need to be a Scrooge or an investment banker to know how to take care of your money, you just need to know how to make your money work for you.
These simple and clever money hacks will help you take charge of your money and start making your money work harder for y.
1. Don’t be a financialphobe
Financialphobia is a fear or facing financial fears. One of the symptoms is avoiding bills by nort opening them. If this sounds like you, then the first step is to start going through all your financial paperwork. It can be heartbreaking to see the extent of a bad financial situation, but not facing up to bills can make the situation worse than it needs to be.
The first step to fixing any problem in life is acknowledging that there is a problem in the first instance, so take a deep breath and start going through those letters.
Once you’ve taken a good look at your finances, you can decide whether to consolidate your finances into one loan. You can find a good deal on loans by using a company like Readies or set up payment plans with all your creditors to pay off your debts.
2. Stay on top of your credit report
Whether you want to stay on on top of your financial records or just want to make sure your credit file is improving, you should check your credit file regularly. These days you can do that easily with a number of credit agencies like Experian and Equifax – with a free trial. It really isn’t worth turning a blind eye on.
If you spot an error on your credit file, get in touch with them and ask for a remedy. You can also contact the creditors and make a request for them to update or change the details they have for you on the credit file.
3. Start a rainy day fund…today!
Once you’ve paid off all your debts, you should start a ‘rainy day’ fund. Start saving as much as you can every week or month, in a way that you won’t need to dip into your fund every five minutes. Your rainy day fund isn’t for buying outfits for weddings and other special occasions, but it’s actually for times when disaster seems to strike.
4. Vote with your feet
It’s easy to get comfortable with insurance companies and auto renewal, but you could be paying out more than you need to by not checking other deals on the market. If you’ve ever heard of Martin of Money Saving Expert fame, you’ll know that this is a must when it comes to clawing back the pennies and pounds. If you donat want to leave, get on the phone and haggle – don’t just go with the offer that is system generated.
5. Make upfront payments ahead of time
On that note, wherever possible, it’s a good idea to pay for your car insurance, home insurance, utilities and such payments upfront. This will mean you won’t get charged interest.
6. Get a mobile bank app
Nothing helps curbing your spending more than seeing what your bank balance looks like than a bank app. It also means you can see when direct debits and standing orders are coming out, and you can transfer money from savings accounts to keep your balance out of the red when you need to, so you don’t get charges on your accounts.
If you’re not using mobile banking now, you really need to get with the times. Don’t worry about security – technology is very secure these days, and banks will often spot a problem far in advance of you spotting them.
7. Go paperless
In the name of being environmentally friendly and not being charged by companies to post out copies of your bills to you (which you can view online anyway, or have delivered via email!) go paperless. You’ll save a world of money!
8. Use up those rewards
Have you heard of spend and earn? Make your credit cards link up to a reward or cashback program of some sort. This will help you earn money back on all your spending.
9. Let your bank’s technology work for you…
If you’re not one for logging in to your online or mobile banking everyday and need to have the information come to you, then set up some alerts. They’re usually free, and will let you know what your bank balance is.
It will even send you an alert when your bank balance drops below a particular threshold, which is helpful in staying on top of your spending.
Founder and editor of www.motherswhowork.co.uk, a mother of two wonderful children, wife, entrepreneur (check out www.geekschool.co.uk) and journalist.