Student and Graduate Publishing

Five Ways to Plan Your Financial Future

Friday, 21 March 2014 15:12

Whilst the only thing you may want to do with your first pay cheque is spend it, as time goes on, you might start to think about how to prepare for bigger financial commitments down the road. Read on to find some useful tips on getting the balance between saving and spending right.

1) Keeping Holiday Costs Down
You might have caught the travel bug following a gap year, or just want a week away from it all on a stunning beach.

Whatever your reason for wanting to travel, planning ahead of your trip is a good first step. Sainsbury’s Bank have produced a “Guide to planning for your financial future” with tips on calculating costs, budgeting and starting to save for a big trip.

Comparison sites offer ways to search for the cheapest flights and hotels, which can be a help when trying to fit your holiday to a particular budget. It’s also worth considering making a list of all the things you might need to take with you on holiday, such as sunblock or new clothes. This can help you work out the overall cost of your trip.

2) Saving for a Car
If you’ve decided to increase your freedom to travel with a car there are plenty of ways to make it a little easier for yourself when it comes to affording a bigger purchase.

You might want to take a look at the various financing options out there, such as saving up in advance, taking out a loan, or the possibility of getting a car on hire purchase.

Make sure you also consider the additional costs, such as how much you might have to spend on fuel for a particular model, as well as its tax band. Taking as many of these costs into consideration as possible helps to keep your budget in perspective.

3) Looking After Your Credit Score
As a new graduate, “credit” might be something you’re considering. Your credit score could influence your ability to take out a loan for a car or a mortgage for a home and the interest rate that you’re offered.

A few simple things can be done to improve your credit score such as paying bills on time, making sure you are registered on the electoral role at the correct address and using a credit card responsibly to demonstrate you can pay back debts on time. You can check your credit score using tools such as Noddle, Equifax, or Experian’s Credit Expert service. These services may charge a fee.

4) Returning to Education
Graduation might not mean the end of formal education. Most universities now offer a variety of postgraduate or professional courses which can enable you to further your studies, as well as gain professional skills to support you in your career.

Postgraduate education however is rarely free, so investigating any grants available and budgeting for your studies is really important. Websites such as Prospects provide future information on career paths and future study options for graduates.

5) Planning Ahead to Make Savings
There may be times when you look at your bank account at the end of the month and not know where all of your money has gone. When your pay comes through, an important thing to think about is setting up a budget.

Budgeting for the basics such as paying rent, utility bills and food can help you to work out how much you actually have to spend on luxuries such as a night out or a shopping spree. Any money left over can then be put into a savings account to save for larger things.

Whilst some great things in life remain free, many still require some cash. Planning ahead could potentially make these things a little easier to reach.

This article was provided by Sainsbury’s Bank.

This guest post aims to be informative and engaging. Though it may include tips and information, it does not constitute advice and should not be used as a basis for any financial decisions. Sainsbury’s Bank accepts no responsibility for the content of external websites included within this guest post.