When was the last time you had a financial health check? We make sure our sons and daughters are protected but sometimes we are a little lax with our financial health. To get a grip on the situation there are a few easy steps you can take. Book yourself in to the finance doctor and take some tests.

To start, do you know what is happening with your money? Every household needs a clear budget. You need to know what is coming in, what is going out and for financial well being you want to make sure you are maximising your income and decreasing your expenditure.

Gather all your financial paperwork; bank statements, your payslips, your bills, the receipts that you have stuffed into your purse. Was it easy to find? Ideally you will keep all of these together so you can make regular monthly checks. Now you can work out how much you are spending (and on what) and what money is coming in from salary, savings and investments. Sit down and list everything.

Every budget comes down to two simple things, what is coming in and what is going out. When you have your list it is time to look at how to improve the balance.

Maximise your income

The money you have coming in divides into two streams; Active income that requires a lot of your time and energy to create. This is the income from your job or business. Passive income takes little or no effort and comes from things like your savings. In today’s time poor society looking at passive income options makes sense.

You know that you have to spend money on child care, groceries and bills, but have you considered you could be earning money as you spend? Look at payment cards with a cash back or a reward system. If you make all your transactions on these cards then you will be getting money returned to you just for spending it.

Take a look at your savings account. What interest is your bank paying on that money? Your next step is to make sure that you are getting the best return possible. Investigate what options are available and consider moving your money.

Both of the above are simple ways to passively earn more money. Once you have switched to the best account and card for your family you don’t have to do anything else. The next option is to get active and look at how you can use your spare time and money.

If you have a computer and a reasonable financial history then you can set up an Online trading account. Read up on how CFDs and the stock market work then find a trading platform such as that provided by CMC Markets. Set aside an amount each month and experiment.

Your hobbies and passions can become a source of income that you can then save, trade or invest. Everyone is creative and the things you make can be sold online or at yard sales. So if you have always wanted to make a quilt like grandma’s, now is the time.

Cut your expenses

Have you looked at old regular purchases that are now outdated? Do you have old subscriptions to magazines that get delivered and never read? If you cancel these you can divert that money into your savings or trading account.

Pay attention every single time you spend money – it’s amazing how an impulse coffee or the store bought sandwich when you forget your lunch add up. Keep a little note book with you and write it all down – every time. Don’t cut out all the little luxuries, be sure to treat yourself, just be aware of how you are spending your money. Can it be better used elsewhere?

Making sure you do a regular finance health check means you are taking control of your financial well being. So gather your papers and get started right now!