Most people have good intentions when it comes to managing their money. But unfortunately, many people tend to make critical mistakes with their cash, simply because they haven’t been taught the basics of money management. We learn all kinds of things at school, yet surprisingly, money skills are rarely taught. According to a recent poll by Skipton Building Society, one in 10 British adults admit to being ‘terrible’ with money.
Today, I’m looking at two basic mistakes that millions of people across the UK are currently making. Both can have a devastating impact on long-term wealth creation. Are you making these crucial mistakes with your hard-earned cash?
You’re struggling with credit card debt
Are you struggling with credit card debt? If yes, you’re not alone. According to statistics from The Money Charity, in April, total credit card debt across the UK in April came to a colossal £71bn. That equates to around £2,600 per household which is a concerning level of debt when you consider the average wage.
Credit card debt (or any other high-interest debt for that matter) is your number one enemy when it comes to building wealth. Speak to any reputable financial adviser and they’ll almost certainly advise you that one of the first things you should do if you want to get your finances into shape is pay off your credit card debt as soon as possible.
The problem with credit card debt is the sky-high interest rates that lenders charge on your outstanding balance. For example, plenty of UK credit cards have interest rates of 20% or higher. At that rate, if you rack up £10,000 spending on your card, you’re looking at interest payments alone of £2,000 per year. In contrast, average interest rates on savings accounts are around 1%, meaning that £10,000 of savings would generate interest of just £100 per year. Can you see the problem here?
If you’re struggling with credit card debt, put a plan in place immediately to pay it off as soon as possible. Don’t hesitate to seek help if you need it.
You don’t have an emergency fund
Do you have some savings set aside for emergencies? Many people don’t. According to Skipton’s research, a quarter of British adults have no savings at all. Again, that’s a worrying statistic.
Having an ‘emergency fund’ set up, with some cash savings that are easily accessible, is a very sensible idea when it comes to money management. An emergency fund provides a sense of financial security and will protect you from the financial ‘surprises’ that life tends to throw up. If you lose your job, or you’re hit with an unexpected bill, you won’t be forced to turn to credit cards or, worse still, high-interest ‘payday’ loans to get by.
How much should you save in an emergency fund? Generally speaking, financial experts agree that your emergency fund should be large enough to cover at least three months worth of expenses. So, if you spend £2,000 per month on essential expenses such as rent, food and transport, your emergency fund should be at least £6,000.
Of course, these are just two mistakes that many people tend to make. There are many others. If you’re interested in learning more about how to get your finances in shape, feel free to download our free report below on ‘financial independence.’
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