So, you've paid off your debt. Congratulations! What next?
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.
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.
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. Building your credit score back up may seem like a daunting process but there are tools out there to help you improve your credit score quickly and easily.
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, while 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 and 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.”
Sign up for LOQBOX by visiting their website here.
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. Accommodating for fun spends will help ensure that your budget is sustainable as it will suit your lifestyle and personal wants/needs.
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 pot 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 users to take their first steps towards a debt-free future. Our free service provides those struggling with unmanageable debt a confidential space to speak openly about their debt and financial worries and find a suitable solution based on their personal circumstances.
Freeze Debt's in-app messaging service is a revolutionary and modern way for users to address their debts and find solutions in less than 5 minutes, compared to the traditional and uncomfortable ‘call-centre-model’ that can take an average of 45 minutes.
So far, we’ve helped clear over £30m of debt and helped many people begin their journey to a debt-free future.