2019 Financial New Year’s Resolutions
It’s now 2019, the festive period is officially over and most people are back to work. Now is the time when we are full of good intentions and start to make resolutions for the coming year.
For our first blog of 2019, we have put together some financial resolutions to start 2019 with your best foot forward.
1. Make Your Money Go Further
The first bit of advice we can give to improve your finances is to make your current finances more efficient. Which means more than just budgeting. You will need to evaluate your current spending and cut out what is not essential and lower costs until your finances are more manageable.
This can sound frightening as you may not think you can cut costs anywhere else, however the best idea is to set small achievable aims. Do you buy a coffee on the way to work every morning? Aim to cut this back or all together if you can. Don’t try to cut everything out at once, as this is just setting yourself up to fail.
Some other achievable goals can include:
- Taking lunch to work instead of buying it
- Cutting the cost of your weekly food shop
- Stop smoking
- Switching your energy supplier
- Get a smart meter installed to keep track of what you are using
- Walk to work instead of driving or taking public transport
Learning to stretch your money and budget as far as it can go is one of the most important skills for financial health in 2019.
2. Pay off your debts
If, like many of us, got a little carried away with spending over the festive period. Now is the time to start tackling the debt. It’s easy to bury your head in the sand and ‘deal with it later’ however this is dangerous and can lead to a ‘debt spiral’.
If you can, its best to make more than the minimum payments towards your debts each month as you will clear them quicker. To do this you can lower your spending and use the surplus income on repaying your debts – this may not be fun in the short term but will be worth it when your debts are paid off!
If, like many people you struggle to pay even the minimum repayments – don’t worry! There are solutions available to you to help manage your debts.
3. Do a balance transfer on your credit cards
If you have debts on credit cards and are paying more in interest than your actual debt, you should do a balance transfer over to a 0% credit card. This means you won’t pay any interest on the balance, which will allow you to tackle your debt without worrying about interest adding on.
4. Save for an emergency
Once you have your debts under control you may want to start setting aside some money for an emergency. You never know what the year has instore, so it’s a good idea to plan ahead have some money nestled away in case your car breaks down or if there is a new addition to your family!
To start saving you need to work out how much you need to put aside. A good rule of thumb is to have 3 months essential outgoings such as mortgage/rent, food and household bills saved in an instant access savings account.
After you have streamlined your budget you should put any leftover income into a separate savings account so you are not tempted to spend it. The more money you are able to put away each month, the faster you will meet your target.
5.Save for something specific
You may have a financial goal you would like to meet in 2019 such as saving a deposit for a house a new car or retirement.
Depending on what event you are saving for a different savings technique may need to be adopted.
If you are a first-time buyer and are saving for a deposit then you should be saving with a Help to Buy ISA. The state will add 25% free cash on top of what you save. If you want to open one then you must do so before the 20th of November this year.
To be eligible you must be over 16 and be a first-time buyer meaning you don’t own or have never owned an interest in a residential property.
It is important to consider a wide variety of saving options depending on what your goal is.
6. Set Yourself Up for Success
The most important thing to remember when setting your financial resolutions is to make sure they are achievable and you aren’t setting yourself up for failure. If you start with unrealistic goals then you will find yourself disheartened and giving up by the time February rolls around.
Take it slow, and reward yourself when you achieve your goals.
If you need more information about the options available to you in dealing with your debt, you can always speak confidentially with one of our friendly advisors on 0808 2085 195.