Learning to be disciplined with money is not always easy. It’s not something they teach us how to do at school and it’s not something that comes naturally to most of us. But it is necessary if you want to get ahead financially and live a financially secure life.

Below you’ll find key areas to focus on and help you take back control over your finances.

Paying off your credit cards
One of the first ‘adult’ things many of us do is to get our very first credit card and when we do, the temptation to take advantage of that sweet 0% APR introduction offer can be overwhelming. That of-fer doesn’t last forever though and before you know it, you’re £20,000 in debt thanks to mounting interest rates and the need to offload your debt onto another credit card every couple of years in an attempt to escape those debts.

If you’re already a few cards deep, try organising your finances and paying off the smallest sum first to chip away at it. But before you even get yourself lost in that rabbit hole, ask yourself if you really need a credit card in the first place. You might want to consider choosing a banking alternative that doesn’t offer credit or overdraft options to avoid temptation. With these kinds of banks, you’ll also rarely need to go through and credit checks, which is always a bonus.

Mindful spending
Make a list of everything you own, everything you owe and your monthly expenses. You’ll probably be surprised to notice that a few things stick out like a sore thumb. That super-fast broadband connec-tion and Netflix account you rarely use might not seem like much on their own but they are leaving your account every month and those costs add up fast.

Financial discipline is, underneath it all, about managing your needs and wants. The latter is very nice to have but the former is literally standing between you and the food bank. You should also consider making a budget and there are dozens of online resources available to help you do just that. Managing your money has never been easier thanks to the apps in our pockets and the introduction of open banking in the UK.

No excuses
If you’ve ever seriously tried to lose weight then you know that the greatest hurdle to self-discipline is excuses. With a diet, however, many factors are beyond your control such as your genes and your metabolism. With your finances, however, you are 100% behind the wheel and there is rarely anyone else to blame. So take control of your finances today because nobody else is going to do it for you!