A lot of money management guides can be in-depth and complicated, often requiring serious commitment and dedicated time. When you’re just starting out on the journey to better financial health, this isn’t always possible. While you will need to commit to improving your finances in order to see results, it’s not always necessary to attempt overwhelming tasks that make you wish you’d never started in the first place.

If you’ve already decided you want to improve your finances or you recognise that your financial health isn’t brilliant, then you’ve probably passed the biggest hurdle. Often, acknowledging that you aren’t succeeding in something is the hardest part.

In this guide, we’ve put together a few tips which are very basic but almost guaranteed to help. One of the best ways to improve something like money management is by creating habits that you automatically use in your day to day life, and by slowly reshaping your mindset so that money doesn’t evoke such negative emotions.

Basic tips to better your financial health


It would be impossible to discuss good money management habits without mentioning the importance of an accurate and sustainable budget. Whether you earn £100,000 a year or £20,000 a year, having a realistic budget helps you stay on track with your finances and reduces the risk of overspending and being unprepared for any potential financial difficulty.

When creating a budget, it’s important your essential expenditure and priority bills accurately reflect your monthly costs. You may need to check through a few weeks or months of bank statements to ensure you have the correct figures, but this will make it easier to outline your disposable income. Your disposable income is the amount of money you have left over when you’ve paid all of your bills and bought essentials, like food etc. It’s a good idea to put a chunk of your income into savings so that you are financially prepared for any emergency expenses, but try to give yourself a reasonable amount of money for day to day spending, so you’re not tempted to withdraw from your savings or borrow money to finance casual purchases.

Cutting back on spending

If your finances have got into a pickle, often an influencing factor is overspending. By reducing the amount of money you spend each month – even if just for a couple of months, you can reset your finances and break the habits that have triggered overspending in the past.

It can be easy to get stuck in a rut of repetitive but unnecessary spending; for example, buying a coffee every morning. Although you might be able to afford it, the £2.50 for your coffee is just one of several payments that can drain your disposable income and cause you to borrow from your overdraft or other revolving credit. By cutting back and restricting payments for a short period, you can readjust your disposable expenditure and reshape your daily spending habits.


Savings are your biggest protection against financial difficulty, and a big factor in improving your financial wellbeing. When you have a security blanket of funds for emergency expenses, you’ll find you become much less stressed and anxious about potential increased bills or unexpected payments coming through the door. You’ll find it easier to manage your money with a smile, and as you develop sustainable saving habits, you can reap the benefits – not just for covering emergencies, but also for enjoying birthdays, Christmas and holidays with less pressure.

Start with easy steps and manageable amounts – there’s no use transferring half of your wages into savings if you have to withdraw them again later in the month. Use your budget to work out how much you can reasonably afford to save, and if you want to top it up every now and then, consider putting spare change or cash notes into a jar if they’ve been in your purse for a while. Slowly, small amounts of money accumulate to a little pot of gold and the more you save, the easier it will become to save. Just remember not to stop once you reach your target as if you need to use part of your savings, you’ll be below your target again. Savings are a constant effort (unfortunately) but provide many benefits.

Practise makes progress

Improving your financial circumstances has obvious benefits to your ability to manage money – you can cover unexpected payments with ease, additional expenses don’t worry you and festivities like Christmas or holidays are achievable. But having good financial health also positively impacts your mental health because you’ll feel less stress and anxiety when handling money, and purchases and payments that occur in day to day life won’t be so daunting.

It’s easy to feel like you’re not seeing a difference when you first start practising good money management, so it’s important to remember that sustainable changes are built up slowly. If you try to do too much too quickly, you might find the results are only temporary or you simply burnout and give up. The journey to good financial health is just that – a journey. You have to learn along the way, but financial literacy is a skill for life and one that you can pass on to your children and others around you. If you try a couple of methods and they don’t work for you, try something else. There are lots of different ways to save, various ways to budget and a whole lot of help available online.