With the new year comes new opportunities, and the chance to put a resolution (or three) in place. Whist you might not stick to your January gym membership, quitting booze or stopping smoking, committing yourself to a financial resolution is a great way to start 2019.
Bettering a financial situation has proven to be a high priority for the British public as we turn the first page on a new calendar. Indeed, the average adult will commit £4,600 on financial resolutions; this involves goals like moving house or paying off a debt. For those under the age of 25, 11% of people aim to clear their debts in the new year, and for the over 55s that figure increases to 15%.
Even with the best intentions, though, it can be difficult to keep your New Year’s resolutions. Fortunately, there are a few actions you can take to give yourself the best chance.
Cast your mind back to 2018
Once you’ve got a good sense of how the past 12 months have been for your finances, you’ll have an awareness of where you are presently. There may be steps you can take straight away to improve your situation. For instance, review any direct debits or subscriptions that you now consider superfluous. Sell any unnecessary items to produce an income without any significant lifestyle changes. Consolidate debts with balance transfer cards, to potentially reduce your interest rate and to make payments more manageable. Making things simpler and shoring up your financial situation at the start of the year will give you greater control over the months ahead.
Put together a budget
It’s all well and good having a plan but you’ve got to stick to it! An effective and well made budget can be just the thing to keep you on the straight and narrow. Pull together information about your income and expenditure and control your spending. For example, it can be extremely tempting to indulge yourself when you receive some unforeseen income but don’t overlook the opportunity to add to your savings. Maybe think about splitting that extra money between future savings and clearing debt, and if there’s any to spare then why not treat yourself? The main thing is to keep up to date, and modify your budget plans and savings goals as you go so that you’re prepared for whatever 2019 may bring.
Set goals and be realistic
There’s no point in setting a goal that is out of reach, only to dishearten yourself when you inevitably fail to meet it. With a genuine awareness of your current position and recent financial habits, set yourself an attainable plan for the year ahead. Be precise and make it measurable. Rather than pledging to get rid of all of your debt, pinpoint a piece that you’re certain you can clear, and set yourself targets to help you stay on track.
With the correct groundwork and planning, the year can be a great step forward for your finances—take on the challenge and have a great 2019!
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