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10 Money Rules for Everyone

Money can be a tricky subject, and culturally rarely discussed as openly as it should be. So it’s important to have a good handle on your finances. Here are my 10 money principles. Not financial advice etc. etc.

  1. Maximise your earnings. Whether that be through education, experience, up skilling, new jobs, new sectors, Perhaps even side incomes like selling on apps like Vinted. Do everything you can to add to your income.

  2. Invest through your pension first and foremost, maximise employer matching and add as much as you can afford, add more for each pay rise. Look at marginal tax rates to maximise tax reduction and sometimes this can help keep certain benefits.

  3. Spend less than you earn, hard during a cost of living crisis of course, but make sacrifices if you need. Get your essential spend sorted - cut back on everything else. Look at entitled.to to see if you are due any support.

  4. When spending, use cashback and voucher sites - often companies have portals for this as a benefit for employees but there are plenty publicly available like JamDoughnut or TopCashBack. Use apps for the shops you spend at regularly as they often do offers or sign-up bonuses, points schemes like Subway and Tesco. Use cashback bank/credit cards too if appropriate. If you have to spend you might as well make it as cheap as possible.

  5. With the excess income ensure you have an emergency fund, depending on your risk tolerance, job security, commitments etc, you should have 3-6 months essential spend covered. This money will diminish due to inflation, so use highest interest easy access accounts to offset. The difference is the cost of convenience and that’s ok.

  6. Pay off debts, highest interest first - reducing the total interest you would pay. Avoid using debt to spend frivolously - but do use credit cards to pay for expensive items because of the section 75 benefit. Pay it off in full every month.

  7. Save and invest the rest. Use the best savings accounts you can find many in the 3-5% range - it won’t beat inflation but can offset it. Invest in low cost index funds or ETFs. Don’t try and time the market and be prepared for ups and downs. But holding for the long term should see good compounding growth. Maximise tax-wrappers so use an ISA before a general account. If you are particularly high earning consider a JISA for your children if applicable. Then consider EIS and VCTs and at that level get a financial advisor. Well worth the spend.

  8. Consolidate pensions from previous employees and ensure your expression of wish is up to date. Pensions are not part of your will. Will? Get a will sorted.

  9. Check in on your investments once a year, doesn’t need to be more frequent then that. Have everything documented somewhere your partner or dependents can access if the worst was to happen.

  10. Talk about it with other people, remove the stigma about money. Help others make better choices and improve their lives.

Published 13 July 2023, with 527 words.