DEBTS PAID OFF? Here's how to manage your money going forward...
So, you’ve paid off your debt.
Your final debt payment will have been a huge weight off your shoulders, and now you have some extra income that isn’t being put towards your debt repayments.
But, before you start splurging, it’s important to consider how you can further effectively manage your income to prevent yourself falling back into the dreaded debt cycle, and how you can use your money to secure future finances.
Check out our top tips for a better financial future.
Top 5 Post-Debt Money Management Tips
1. Credit Building
Debt can hugely affect your credit score, which in turn, can reduce the chances of lenders offering you credit in the future.
LOQBOX is a free service that helps you improve your credit score while you save. This enables you to start building a positive credit history, reducing the negative impacts from mistakes you may have made with debt in the past.
You choose how much you want to save on a monthly basis for a year, LOQBOX locks away a 0% APR loan for that amount. Each payment is reported to the three main UK credit referencing agencies which builds your credit history. At the end you release every penny into a new bank account for free.
Gregor Mowat, Co-founder and Co-CEO of LOQBOX said:
“It can sometimes feel like you’re being repeatedly punished if you have a poor credit score because of past mistakes, with no way to improve your credit history because you can’t get approved for credit.
That’s why we designed LOQBOX - to enable anyone to prove their creditworthiness no matter what’s happened in the past. With LOQBOX you can finally set your credit history on the right path.”
Creating a budget is the best way to stay on top of your income and expenses, and track how you spend.
Prioritising living expenses and savings can determine your disposable income for the month - which can be allocated to any personal spending or socialising.
It’s important to make space in your budget for ‘fun’ - whether that’s a fortnightly meal out, a few Friday drinks, or a membership for your local cinema - so that it feels like a sustainable lifestyle choice, rather than a chore.
3. Emergency Funds
Setting up an emergency fund is one of the best ways to ensure that you’re prepared for any unexpected costs that might crop up in the future. This could be due to unfortunate events including a loss of income or illness - both of which can cause financial problems when unprepared for.
Aim to build a savings account of 3-6 month’s worth of expenses that can act as support for if you were to experience a financial setback.
4. Later-Life Planning
It may seem a while off, but making financial plans for later life as early as possible will give you the best chances at building a comfortable retirement fund for after you finish working.
Ensuring that you’re sending money to your pension or a locked, high-interest savings account on a monthly basis can be a great way to save without even realising it - and will give you a lot more financial freedom when you do reach later life.
The idea that only ‘rich’ people invest is long gone, and now, more and more people are investing a fraction of their income to build wealth for the future.
For example, over the past decade, the S&P 500 had a total return of 225%, which means if you’d started investing £500 a month in an S&P 500 index fund 10 years ago, you’d have approximately £120,000 today!
If you’re thinking about investing, it’s worth doing your research online or speaking to an expert to make sure you’re using your money in the best possible way.
About Freeze Debt
Freeze Debt is the first debt advice and solutions app helping UK consumers to take their first steps towards a debt-free future. The free service provides those suffering with debt with a confidential space to speak openly about their debt and financial worries, and hopefully find a suitable solution based on their personal circumstances.
The in-app messaging service is a revolutionary and modern way for consumers to address their debts and find solutions in less than 2 minutes, compared to the traditional ‘call-centre-model’ method that can take an average of 45 minutes.