Before you start investing and saving money for your retirement, you need the right financial foundation. This comes from preparation and mastering the art of money management.
Your current account
Your income goes into your current account and you use cheques, debit cards, bank transfers and cash to meet your expenses. However, the key is to make sure your income is greater than your expenses. Having a budget can help in this regard.
Monthly fee or no fee
There are current accounts that provide packaged benefits for a monthly fee. These benefits could include a higher overdraft limit or insurance. However, opt for a current account with a monthly fee only if you intend using the features.
Many vendors offer discounts for making direct debits, and you also enjoy a sense of security knowing your bills will get paid without any hassle. If you make regular payments, direct debit can help you save, but every now and then it is crucial to review your bills. This way, you know you are not overpaying for anything.
If you make fixed payments regularly, standing order may be ideal. It can work to your advantage if you set up one to yourself. Rather than waiting for the end of the month to see how much you have left in your current account, transfer a fixed amount at the beginning of the month. It will help you stay within your budget and also let you save.
The overdraft facility lets you spend more than the total amount in your checking account, but you always have to repay it. Typically, there will be a threshold for interest-free money, and once you cross it, the interest starts accruing. However, if you want to save money, clear the overdraft amount quickly and then forget about it.
A current account may seem like a simple bank account. However, if you optimise the account with the help of direct debits, standing orders and avoiding overdraft facilities, you can grow your money prudently.