For most of us, there's an idea somewhere in the back of our heads that ‘one day’ we will be good with money.
The truth is, most of us are dreadful with money. It’s also not just an LGBTQ thing. Your straight mates are almost certainly struggling just as much as you are.
We caught up with some queer people to discuss money problems. We asked them for their tips on maintaining our own financial health. Here’s what they had to share.
Check your statements
“It’s really simple, but saves so many problems...” says Chris, sharing his tip to regularly check your bank statements. “I developed huge anxiety about every aspect of my finances, worrying about over-spending, going overdrawn, earning too little. I didn’t even like to know my bank balance when I made withdrawals.”
“The wake-up call was when I was preparing a tax return and realised an employer had underpaid me by nearly £2,000 over the course of a year. I’d not even noticed because I never looked at my statements...” added Chris. “Fight the fear and know what’s going in and out of your account. Make a point of querying odd charges or payments, rather than passively presuming everything’s fine.”
Most banks will offer an app that makes this super-easy. Check your transactions each day and you’ll have a firm grip on what’s going in and out of your account.
A second bank account is your new best friend
“Money is molten lava for me, its burning nature fuelled by thoughts of what to spend it on...” explains Charlize, admitting that she is rubbish at managing her finances. “I’ve always found having separate accounts within online banking to be a life-saver. I have a ‘save the change’ account that stores the pennies from purchases which adds up slowly but surely. My other best advice is to fall out with some people and save a few on birthdays each year.”
Pretend you get paid less than you do
“As soon as I get paid I put a chunk of my wage into my savings...” says Steve, sharing his money-management tips. “It goes there straight away and I pretend it didn’t even exist. Then I budget for the remainder of my wage.”
Putting aside a small sum of cash each month may not help you save for that dream home. However, it could help you out in case of an unexpected financial crisis.
“If there’s any nasty surprise I can use that saved cash in an emergency..." adds Steve. "If I don’t use it, I’m beginning to save each month. Essentially, pretend you’re paid less than you are.
Credit card debt. Deal with it.
“I had massive credit card debts – mainly left over from my student days...” confirms Darren, sharing his struggles with money-managmeent. “The moment I had a steady job and regular income I consolidated the lot into one big loan with the lowest interest rate I could find. Knowing one set amount was coming out of my account each month to cover the payments made me much more at ease.”
Darren explains that having debt spread across various cards felt like an ‘insurmountable hill’ he had to climb.
Share the knowledge
What are some of your money-saving tips? Slide into our DMs or post in the comments below to help others benefit from your experience and your mistakes!