by Lina Martinez

Not all of us are blessed with the ability to manage our finances well. Some of us work particularly hard to keep everything ticking over, for others of us there is nothing more simple than balancing money.

There are a number of smart things you can do for your own finances that will help you to no end. People often underestimate the small decisions that they make when it comes to their finances. The truth is, however, financial decisions are more like a tiny pebble being throw in a big pond. The ripples are far-reaching.

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Pay Down Debt

This one should be at the top of every list. We are usually encouraged to have a few lines of credit to improve our credit score, but if yours have recently gotten out of control, you should be looking to make a dent in your repayments and what you owe overall. If you are in a deeper hole, then you will more likely need to look into a bigger solution such as bankruptcy. If you can, make a note of all of your money owed, and place them in some sort of order. Highest interest to lowest interest is a great way to work this out.

Save Money

It is possible to pay down debts and save money at the same time. If you aren't great at making sure you set money aside, then you should be thinking about setting up an automated payment schedule where a portion of what it is in the bank gets to move to another savings account. You can make this amount as big or small as you can manage, so long as it is within your means.

Don’t Take More Credit Out

Unless you are expressly advised by a financial adviser or a debt agency to take a debt consolidation loan, then don’t be tempted to take out payday loans or other forms of quick finance. They usually have the highest form of APR and can be crippling in the short run.

Get Life Insurance

While you are young, fit and active, you should take out a policy. The older you get, and with more lifestyle changes comes a higher premium. Even if you don’t have children at the moment, it is worth considering a policy for when you do. Ensuring your family's financial future is one of the smartest financial decisions you can make.

Buy Property

If you are in a position to do so, then you should consider buying a property. It doesn't particularly matter what size, it doesn't have to be perfect. But, the property market goes through some brilliant phases where you can make double your money without really putting money into the property beyond its initial asking price. If you aren’t particularly interested in selling the property later down the line, you can rent it out for a regular monthly income.

Those are just a few simple financial decision that you can make to improve your long-term financial health. Where possible always seek information from a financial professional.