Personal finance is exciting, right?
Sat in a room full of incredible bloggers at The Principal in Manchester, I learned how to cook cheap, healthy food, made a fancy necklace and discovered how much I knew about personal finance with giffgaff.
Hold up Jess. Isn’t giffgaff a network provider? What do mobile phones have to do with my money?
Let me introduce you to giffgaff gameplan.
What is giffgaff gameplan?
A new product from giffgaff, giffgaff gameplan is going to help you achieve your goals and make your dreams come true. Your money dreams anyway. From checking your credit score to accessing a friendly community for advice on debt management, personal finance, and student money, it’s basically a one-stop shop for managing your money. There’s currently features such as the goal tracker but others such as being able to see all your utility bills in one place and smart budgeting tools are going to become available by August 2018.
The whole ethos behind giffgaff is that they want to create a service that is exactly what people want, rather than what they think people want. With this in mind, giffgaff want you to tell them what you are looking for so they can develop the tools to help you reach your financial goals!
My Personal Finance Overhaul
Whilst we were finding out about this new side to giffgaff, we did a little test to see how much we knew about personal finance. Honestly, I thought I was pretty clued up about money, but clearly, I still have a lot to learn because I was shocked by some of the answers.
After the event, I was sat thinking about all the information we had been given and made a pact to overhaul my personal finances. Not one to complicate things, I made it super easy and thought I’d share it with all of you!
Step 1: Set some financial goals
Like everything, goals help you focus on something, and the same goes for personal finance. I absolutely love traveling and I think everyone and their dog knows that I’m hoping to go to Australia & New Zealand in the next couple of years. My goal is to be able to afford my dream trip down under and not have to budget so much whilst I’m there!
Step 2: Save money
If I’m going to be able to afford the trip of a lifetime, I’m going to have to start saving. The first way I’m doing this is cutting back on unnecessary spending. We’re all guilty of it: buying new clothes when you have things unworn in your wardrobe, new books when you have a shelf waiting to be read. It’s so easy to forget you’re spending money these days.
With things like one-click payment options and contactless cards, payments don’t seem so real and you can easily lose track of how much you’re spending. To try and combat this, I’m going to try using cash for most things, and cut out things I really don’t need, like that Starbucks hot chocolate *sob*.
Step 3: Live life
Just because I’m saving money doesn’t mean I can’t have a life. Giffgaff definitely showed me that saving money doesn’t mean you can’t have fun, you just have to be smarter and plan more.
A local catering company, Herb and Spice, showed us how to make the most delicious Morrocan Tagine Filo Pastry Parcel with couscous which tasted as good as it looked, and was super easy & cheap! We were also shown how to make beautiful necklaces by Tea & Crafting, showing us it was possible to get a wardrobe update on a budget!
Step 4: Build a credit score
Whilst I’m saving up, I want to plan for the future and build up a credit score. I’ve always been pretty proud of the fact that I’ve never touched my overdraft but, ironically, that might prevent me getting a mortgage in the future. Lenders will look at your history or re-paying things, and if you’ve never had anything to re-pay, you have no history and the lenders won’t be able to assess your risk.
I don’t want to get to the point where I want to buy my own place, only to not be able to because I’ve not got a credit score so time to take action. Checking I’m on the electoral roll and looking at a credit-building card are all things on my to-do list.
Talking to giffgaff about gameplan has definitely inspired me to overhaul my personal finances. I can’t wait to make my dreams a reality and grow my credit score. What’s your dream? Are you saving for anything at the moment?