With the new year approaching, it means that many of our employees – both local and international – are looking to boost their personal financial situation.
In addition to the advice we provide to help you manage your finances, we hope you enjoy our site and will be happy to give us a share of your feedback and help you find the right asset manager for your individual needs. In this article, we’ve highlighted some easy steps that can help you keep your financial head above water.
1. Avoid overdraft fees on debit cards: It may seem like a no-brainer – but what if using a card for a cash withdrawal does not incur an overdraft fee? As it turns out, this can be misleading, and it is even more dangerous to think you will never be overdrawn than it is to think you don’t have a chance to cash out before you are, thanks to some of the high fees associated with debit card use.
For new cards and those cards that haven’t had a recent rebranding, you may already have an overdraft of some sort on your account, because you are currently being overdrawn by your bank. There’s no need to panic if you find yourself currently at your limit, as all cards with high fees should show an overdraft fee – whether that fee is the maximum fee, as is the case with some Barclaycard cards, or the fee for the card itself, as was the case with some Visa cards.
Of course, if your credit report reveals low average interest rates and high minimum balances, you’re more likely to be overdrawn than if the average interest rates were higher, and therefore it may be easier to come by an acceptable rate in the future to avoid that. If, however, the average interest rate is much higher than you expected, you may need to review whether you have a balance on your card.
2. Set an annual budget and budget consistently: With the economy so gloomy at the moment, our office is all about finding innovative ways to make your living simpler, and the best way to achieve that is by budgeting and planning. Using a budget will help you maintain a realistic set of goals for your lifestyle, and it will help you make informed choices about everything from clothes to cars.
A new idea, if you are unsure of where to start, is to set a budget for each month of the year. It could be as simple as a budget for food, and an equivalent for utilities and other costs. Then start by