What if you could boost your finances for the long term in just the time it takes to have a cup of coffee
We are all pushed for time these days, and it's easy to see how things like our finances can fall by the wayside as we concentrate on more pressing things.
But what if you could boost your finances for the long term in just ten minutes? That's the same amount of time it takes to read the news, have a browse on Amazon, or have your mid-morning coffee (particularly relevant today on International Coffee Day).
The beverage is now a British obsession, with the UK consuming as a much as 95 million cups daily - or an average of two each per day, according to the British Coffee Association.
The next time you settle down to enjoy that coffee, why not also use those 10 minutes to take some small and easy steps to transform your finances?
With just some simple tweaks, you could hugely enhance your financial prospects, and it can be such a short space of time because ten minutes is often all it takes to make a practical change.
The steps to take to achieve this in just ten minutes can include lots of things, but below are three great ways to get started.
Start a budget
Get on top of your finances by keeping track on how you spend your money. Creating a budget can feel like hard work so break it down into bite-sized pieces.
The first step is identify your essential items e.g. utility bills, mortgage costs etc. and then tot these up. Subtracting these fixed expenses against monthly income gives an idea of your disposable income.
If you know how much you have spare, you’re less likely to overspend.
Set up a savings account
If you have not already done so, open a savings account and set up a regular direct debit to transfer a small amount of your income into it each month, ideally on the day you get paid. It does not have to be much, just what you can afford.
If you already have a savings account, then consider reviewing the interest rate you are getting and think about switching to a better rate. Do the research in your coffee break.
Think about Isas
Stocks and Shares Isas are a popular starting place for many investors and are good for those looking to grow their investments free of tax. Take 10 minutes to learn more about the benefits and suitability of Isas next time you sit down to enjoy your coffee.
Lots of people are put off from investing because they believe it is too complicated or time consuming, but you needn't be Warren Buffett to invest.
If you invested just £100 on 1 October every year in the MSCI AC World Index over the past decade you would have £1,995 today, research from Willis Owen shows. That's a return of 99% on your investment.
Multiplying this method into monthly amounts can seriously transform your future.
Managing your own investments needn't be a career either. Investing is about the long term so once you've set up your investments the most you will need to do is spend a little time checking in now and again to make sure everything is working as planned.
Indeed, this can be a far more effective way of investing than changing your portfolio all the time and is an approach the pros stand by.
When you go to get your Starbucks grande latte (or whatever your personal preference is), remember just what you can achieve for your future while you enjoy it.
Adrian Lowcock is head of personal investing at Willis Owen