Your Finances in Order

Most of us make firm resolutions at the start of a new year, determined that THIS is the year we’re going to see them through. According to a recent poll by UK marketing research company, YouGov, one in five people say they will definitely be compiling a list of ‘life bettering’ intentions for 2023. And in that list, saving more money will come in at around number four. 

Meanwhile, in America, more than half – or 66 percent – of citizens say they plan on making a resolution to do with their finances this year. Whether that’s saving for retirement, paying off more debt, boosting their credit score or increasing how much they invest, the plan is simply to be smarter with money.

That’s all very well, and we’re sure the enthusiasm is high at the start of January. But how do you make sure you’re still keen come the start of the summer holidays… Or even spring? Fear not, we’ve published a series of tips below to help you manage your financial New Year resolutions more effectively. You can read this guide in full here. It’s sure to keep you on the straight and narrow – or rather, continuing to abide by that financial promise you made yourself at the start of the year.

Stick to bite-sized pieces

You know the old saying regarding how one eats an elephant, i.e. over many hours and in bite-sized pieces? Well, the same can apply to your finances. If you want to save up a large sum of money then do it little bits at a time over a long period. In other words, save a set amount each month – one that you’re not going to miss too much and let it build up over the next 12 months. By December you’ll have quite a sum and it won’t feel as if you’ve had to make any great cut-backs during the year. 

And talking of reducing your spending… 

Have a weekly no-spend day

For one day every week try and spend no money. If you usually buy a coffee en-route to work and go to the deli for food at lunch time, then make your own food and drink at home and bring them into the office, shop or wherever your workplace happens to be. Don’t browse the shops at lunchtime or on the way home and on that note, can you cycle in to work instead of taking the bus or train?

Give yourself a budget

Budgeting means doing a little bit of homework beforehand. For instance, write down all your outgoings and see if you can either reduce or eliminate any of them. For instance, negotiate a new phone or broadband contract, cut back on some TV, newspaper or magazine subscriptions. Are you paying any direct debits for insurance, services or items you no longer use and have forgotten about? Go through your spending with a fine-tooth comb and eliminate what you don’t want. Next, make a list of your financial goals and work out how to achieve them by putting away money here and there. Check your progress at least monthly.

Consider investing in stocks and shares

Putting money into stocks and shares, crowdfunding a property or taking out a trust investment, can all help with long-term saving goals. The compound interest means your money will grow behind the scenes while you get on with your life. And, when you need that cash further down the line for a major event eg a home extension, a child’s college fund, then it will be sitting there in your bank account just waiting to be spent.

Take out a pension

If you don’t have an employers’ pension, then do take out a personal plan. That way someone else will be topping up your savings – whether that’s the company your work for or the government. Try and put as much money into your pension as you can reasonably afford, especially if there’s match funding on the table.

Earn more money

One sure way to boost your savings is to take on a side-line that earns you cash. If you’re good at crafts, art, woodwork or sewing, it could be making and selling items on eBay, Etsy, Folksy or some other online market site. It could also be working in a bar a couple of nights a week or taking on a weekend dog walking role. You may find this part-time activity is a welcome break to your ‘day’ job, not to mention a good way to meet new people. It doesn’t have to be forever anyway. If you really don’t enjoy it that much you can resolve to give it up once you’ve reached that financial goal you made at the start of the year.

And finally, a great way to make sure you meet your 2023 financial resolutions is to make sure your goals are SMART. That they are Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-bound. Do that and employ some of the tips we’ve already mentioned in this article and you really have no excuse for not being better off by the time 2024 comes around.

By sweety