You may have already made some New Year’s resolutions regarding exercise and healthy eating but could your finances do with slimming down too? The start of a new year, not to mention a new decade, is a great time to review your financial affairs, analyse your spending and make plans for the future. Take a look at the following financial resolutions you could adopt for 2020.
If you haven’t already set any financial goals, now is the time to do so. But be specific. Instead of just saying you want to ‘spend less’ or to ‘improve your financial situation’, focus on what you really want to achieve. Do you want to pay off a credit card, buy a holiday home or retire a certain number of years early? By identifying your precise goals, you’ll spend more time thinking about them and plan more carefully. It also means it will be easier to see how far you’ve got when you come to review your progress this time next year.
Once you’ve pinpointed your targets, share them with others to make yourself accountable. That way you have more chance of achieving them.
If you’ve already set some goals, why not take stock and review your aims? Do they still match with your circumstances and what you want to get out of life? Or do you need to make some changes?
Watch those bad habits
Examine any financial bloopers you made last year. Did you overspend or over borrow?
Have you got into a bad financial habit, such as always paying full price for purchases, indulging in too many take-out coffees or eating out too frequently? If so take a step back, think about the underlying reason and try and change your behaviour.
On the flip side, if you’ve adopted any good practices try and consolidate them by automating them. If you want to repay a loan or invest more for your retirement, set-up a monthly debit through your bank or payroll right now while you’re feeling motivated.
Why not get into the habit of having a ‘no-spend day’ or ‘no-spend weekend’ each month? Eat at home, don’t go shopping and find free entertainment. You might be excited by the thought of getting fit at the start of the year but think twice about an expensive gym membership, especially if you’re the type of person who ends up skipping sessions once the novelty has worn off. Instead try working out in the park, going for a long walk or using one of the many free exercise apps.
Track your spending
Setting a budget may sound obvious but sticking to what you’ve outlined is the foundation of good financial management. There are many apps out there that can help you log your outgoings and more importantly identify where the overspending is happening. An end of year summary from your credit card provider or bank will help you understand which categories are the main culprits so you can address them in the year ahead.
The goal is to make reviewing your finances a habit, not something you just consider on an annual basis. If you’d like to sit down and discuss your financial position with us with a view to making changes in the coming year, do feel free to get in touch. You can call us 01789 263888 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.