There are countless articles and publications online and offline which warn about neglecting your finances. Its not surprising either given the state of the economy, it seems we are a nation of spenders that just cant stop. The worst part and the major factor of our economy being so weak right now, is that the money we are actually so happily spending is not ours!

It is also our complete and utter ignorance towards our own finances that has contributed to our downfall. The majority of people employ the same attitude when it comes to obesity too, the “someone else will sort it out” attitude.

Anyway, if you aren’t one of these people (or perhaps you are reforming) then you might find the tips in this article very useful.

1) Get saving. You need to start saving as much money as you can afford as soon as possible. Things don’t always work out the way you want which means inevitably you will get caught short and need some emergency funds. Even if you can only save a really small amount, as pathetic as it is, it will soon add up.

2) Pay everything on time. If you have a credit card or a store card, pay the invoices on time. Late fees are big fat unnecessary payments so don’t get pulled into them. They are also common on utility bills, rent and charges for going overdrawn catch a lot of people out too.

3) Set yourself some financial targets. Sit down and think about what you want out of your life (note: be realistic!) and then create some financial targets, short term, medium term and long term. Targets such as a new car, moving into a new house and when you want to retire. Research suggests that the psychological impact of subliminally knowing what you want to achieve helps create positive actions and will help towards achieving your goals.

4) Don’t be a pushover. Go out and get what you’re worth and don’t let anyone try and get in the way of you getting out of life what you want. If you think you deserve a pay-rise, go and ask for one. If you think you are good enough to do a better job, challenge yourself to do a different job.

5) Budget. Probably one of the most commonly quoted financial tips in the world, but it’s for good reason. A budget is something that can literally save you thousands a year and it takes no time at all to put together. The idea is that you write down everything you spend your money on and stick it in a spread sheet. The key to making this work is not just guessing what you spend your money on, actually go a week or two jotting it all down as you do it. This way you will see exactly where your money is going and what its going on and you can make the necessary cut backs. Some people are shocked by the amount of money they flutter away on parking tickets and coffee and save an absolute fortune by really tightening their ship.