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A new year often gets people thinking about new plans and setting new goals. Whilst there are tons of great ideas for resolutions to get fit, eat healthier or kick a bad habit, another great area to focus on is finance, as it can have such a huge impact on lifestyle, choices, mindset and even health.
That makes the start of a new year a great time to reflect on your current financial situation and make some financial resolutions to up your money game for the year ahead. It doesn’t have to be January though! Anytime is a good time to work on improving your personal finance habits.
Whether you need to spend less, save more or simply be more money savvy this year, these financial resolutions will hopefully help you end the year with significantly healthier finances.
NEW YEAR’S RESOLUTIONS FOR YOUR MONEY
Learn to budget better
Effective budgeting is probably the key to maintaining healthy finances. If you’ve been putting off creating a budget, this is the time to sit down and do it!
Creating a spreadsheet is a good way to start (you can find a free one here), or if spreadsheets aren’t your thing, a simple pen and paper will do the job.
You’ll need to gather all your figures, to put together a list of all your sources of income, along with all your outgoings. This will give you a good idea of what your necessary expenditure is, and help you decide the areas you’re happy with your current spending or not.
If you’re already regularly budgeting, this is a great time to have a quick review of your budget and see how it’s working and if you need to make any adjustments.
Identify bad habits and kick them
Do you already know you have some bad money habits? Maybe you’re an emotional spender? Perhaps you’re addicted to shopping the sales when you don’t need anything or have the budget for it, just to get a bargain.
Mine is a payday takeaway with all the trimmings, because I feel flush – then regret it seeing my bank balance the next day!
Whatever it might be, recognising it is the first step to cutting it out!
Deal with debt
If you have debts and are feeling weighed down by them, why not decide to make this year the year you really start tackling them?
There are a few different approaches to dealing with debt, but the first step is to make sure you know exactly what you owe, when it’s due to be repaid and what if any interest and charges might apply.
Once you’ve a good handle on your financial situation, you can start to make a plan to pay off the debt faster.
- Paying Off Debt Using Dave Ramsey’s Baby Steps >>
- How We Paid Off 22k Debt In 3 Years >>
- How Using A Spending Tracker Can Get You Out Of Debt >>
If you feel like you might benefit from some help dealing with debt, there are some great services you can use that provide free confidential debt advice, like StepChange and CAP.
Build an emergency fund
Building up an emergency fund is a great way to get in control of your finances. It gives you security and peace of mind knowing that if any unexpected expenses crop up, you can cope financially, without having to worry about affording them, or needing to use credit to pay.
It might seem like a bit of a challenge to build up an emergency pot, but it is possible, even when things are tight or you’re on a low income.
Review Your Expenses
Chances are, you’re paying for something you could get a better deal on. Look through all your outgoing subscriptions and search to see if you can get a better deal switching to another provider (there are plenty of comparison websites that can help with this.) Switching is usually quick and easy and worth it for the overall savings you’ll make.
Every time your subscriptions come up for renewal, make it a habit to check for a better deal before committing to another year.
You can often find good incentives for switching on cashback sites.
Start saving regularly
A great financial resolution to make this year is to try and make regular saving part of your financial routine, even if it’s only a small amount. Choosing to put money aside every time you’re paid, means you can make saving a part of your monthly budget. This could be saving your emergency fund, saving for a holiday, a house, or even just for a rainy day. Having savings helps you feel more financially secure and is a great habit for healthy finances.
If you find it tricky to save, it might be worth trying an auto-save app, such as Plum or Chip. These are clever apps that use AI. Once linked to your bank account they work out small amounts of money you can afford to save based on your usual outgoings, and move it across into savings for you.
You can read this detailed Chip review for more info.
Your bank account may also offer a spare change feature where it automatically rounds up your purchases and adds the pennies into a savings account for you.
Meal planning is a great way to save money on your grocery bill. It means you can stick to buying the things you know you’ll use, and leads to less food waste too.
- How To Meal Plan To Save Money >>
- 13 Ways To Save Money On Your Grocery Bill >>
- 11 Simple Ways To Reduce Food Waste >>
Be prepared for the future
Another way to get in control of your finances this year is to make sure you’re prepared for the future. This will mean different things for different people, but it may involve finally sorting out your pension plan, writing a will, organising life insurance or setting up savings accounts for children.
Those jobs don’t actually take that much time, but are often things we put off sorting out for another time that never seems to happen!
Start a side hustle
Could you use a bit more money? If you’re already saving money where possible, or would like more money without having to cut back anywhere you might want to think about starting a new side hustle to bring in some extra income each month.
There are so many options! My favourites are blogging and freelance writing, but I also dabble in taking surveys and joining consumer research panels.
If those aren’t for you maybe reselling on Ebay or becoming a dog walker is more your thing. I have a friend who turned her hobby making resin keepsakes into a full time business!
Honestly, the opportunities are endless and there’s bound to be something that suits you to earn a little extra this year.
Hopefully these financial resolutions ideas can help you set new financial goals and end the year with a great handle on your finances!
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