There's no shame in being bad with money. Plenty of us are and we still manage to get by on a day to day basis. However, with the world's economy more unstable than ever, now is as good a time than any to start taking steps towards future financial security.
Start saving as soon as possible
The more money you save now, the easier thing will be in the future. Obviously it's easier said than done, and may mean you have to fritter less money than usual. A technique that I've seen work is after a pay-rise putting the difference in your salary into savings. If you were already reasonably content with what you were earning, your lifestyle doesn't have to change at all whilst you can potentially be adding thousands to a savings account every year. I must also mention that the longer you save for, the more effect interest will have on your savings.
Don't attempt to do everything yourself
If you're experienced in finance and confident you don't need assistance then that isn't a problem, but for the less money-savvy among us it's wise to look for outside help. For example, banks like HSBC and Natwest allow customers to meet with financial advisors and start-up companies like Nutmeg invest stocks and shares ISAs on your behalf. Unless you're very confident in your own ability, don't try to do everything yourself!
Take everything into consideration
When adding up the numbers to work out exactly what you'll be spending on essentials like food, rent and utilities it's important that you leave no stone unturned. In saying this I mean it does little harm to plan for a worst case scenario (within reason!) so you know that even if you are required to pay an expense you'd forgotten about you know you'll be suitably covered.
These points will not apply exactly to everybody, so it's wise to alter them to suit your own situation instead of blindly following them. Saving up money as a single middle aged man will result in very different perks and problems than a mother or two in her late twenties.
Devise a budget
Working out a budget (whether it's weekly, fortnightly or monthly is down to personal preference) is very important. This Wikihow article guides you on how to create a working budget. Flashy consumer goods are the number one enemy to savings, and this makes sense as I'd be the first to admit there's some great things for sale at every shopping centre in the UK, but if you're often drawn in by a bargain you must start resisting the temptation otherwise saving a decent amount of money will never become a reality. Again it's important to consider your own financial and employment situation when thinking about what figure your budget should stand at. Some of you may require strict budgets that cut down considerably on your current spending habits, while others may require just a slight reduction with room to splash out occasionally.