There plenty of guides on the internet to sorting out your finances. The majority of these guides want to make money out of you in some way, be it selling you credit management solutions, other services or products that will magically make it all better. There are some great guides from not for profit organisations and charities but they tend to deal with debt management. What I’ve done here is write a guide to managing your household finances that will work if you’re looking to save money or simply wanting to keep a better track on what you’re doing. The final part contains some advice for improving cash management but if you want proper cash saving ideas, I’ve also linked to some of the better frugal blogs in that post.
Why am I the best person to talk to you about managing your finances? I’m an accountant with 17 years experience working in practice. I deal with accounts that range from sole traders who turn over £10,000 to international groups of companies that turn over in excess of £500,000,000. I’m very hands on, working with clients during the year, not just at the end of the year to prepare statutory accounts, but also dealing with budgets, cashflow forecasts and management. In addition to this, I’m married with three kids and know the pressures people are under with their own finances.
In this guide I’m going to do the following:
- Show you why understanding your finances is vital;
- Build up a simple cashbook from bank statements using Google Documents;
- Analyse the cashbook to understand what money is spent on and when it goes out of the bank account;
- Consider annual expenses/one off costs in the context of a cashbook and how best to budget for them;
- Basic cashflow management techniques you can employ;
- Savings, efficiencies, tips and tricks.
As with any guide, individuals circumstances will vary and whilst this guide is general, I cannot and will not accept responsibility for any individuals use of it.