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National Skills Day: top five skills for managing money and your finance career

07 October, 2020Renika Klair

Learning core skills to manage your personal finances will help you develop the knowledge you need to work in a banking or financial services role. We share five key transferrable skills that will help you in life as well as to get your dream job.

Rubiks cub1. Learn basic arithmetic and mental maths

Don’t let counting wrong count you out! Brush up on your basic mental maths.

Addition, subtraction, multiplication and division – as well as concepts such as percentages, fractions and measurements – all contribute to money management.

These skills will allow you, for example, to:

  • determine budgets – including how much ‘disposable’ money you’ll have
  • work out how much ‘25% off’ will really save you, and
  • help you ‘split the bill’ with ease.

Careers in banking and finance often revolve around maths – whether you’re a mortgage adviser or a risk analyst.

So, for both personal or professional use, understanding maths is a vital skill and the first step to understanding numbers and money.

2. Get organised about time and money

Organisational skills come in handy in all aspects of life – including in your career. Most employers list it as ‘desirable’, and many people pride themselves on their organisation.

In banking and finance – whether personal or professional – being well organised about money management is essential.

When setting a budget, you need to calculate:

  • how you’re going to keep to that budget
  • when payments, such as direct debits and repayments, need to be made, and
  • how to ‘store’ money for different reasons – for example, to pay bills, long-term saving, or for a holiday fund.

If you’re working towards a degree or professional qualification, good organisation will help to manage lectures, deadlines, coursework, revision and studying.

Organising your time effectively will make everything you do more efficient and will help you avoid that feeling of last-minute panic.

3. Be aware of how much money you’re spending

Treating yourself isn’t a bad thing, as long as you’re not hurting yourself later down the line.

Truth is, the more sensibly you spend and save, the more sensible you will be when you splurge. That’s because you’ll have set yourself up to be able to afford an impulse buy – guilt free.

You can apply the same concept to studying and careers. The more you put in, the more you get out, whether it’s:

  • upskilling
  • doing the recommended reading for your next lecture, or
  • using your spare time productively.

Every little thing will be repaid in some form or other and will always benefit you in the long run.

4. Be responsible with savings, keeping to budgets, and emergency funds

Being responsible with your finances is an excellent way to start taking responsibility for every aspect of life. Having savings – including a fund for emergencies – making sure you don’t overspend and avoiding debt, will enable you to manage life’s ups and downs better.

In financial services, as well as many other sectors, taking responsibility is essential to succeed – especially if you’re accountable for the money of clients and customers.

Learning to manage your own money first will help you succeed in your finance career and become more effective in your role.

5. Be consistent and committed

All of these skills are useless unless you carry them through – not just once but continually.

You need to be consistent in managing your personal finances to keep on top of them long-term.

That’s also the case with any successful career. Consistency is the basis of success. Make sure you keep doing what you’re doing and keep trying.

Whether that’s learning a new skill or saving a certain amount every month, commitment and consistency will ensure you do your best and get the best from yourself.

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Learn more about managing money with our free financial education resources