The beginning of a New Year is always a good time to give your finances an overhaul. You might have something happening later on in the year that you need money for – a wedding, a holiday, a new house. Whether you have a big spending year coming up or you just want to take stock and reorganize yourself, here are some tips to help you get your finances sorted for the year ahead.
- Make sure your bank is offering you everything you need
Many of us take out accounts with banks and stick them for years, out of convenience, habit, and loyalty. STOP! You don’t owe your bank anything, but they need to be providing you with the best service possible, and these days, it is so easy and straightforward to swap to a new one. In some cases, you can do this online, so don’t even have to leave your house. Check that they are really offering you the best deals on all the services that you have with them, and you are not paying any unnecessary charges,
2. Set up automatic payments for your bills
A lot of companies, especially those who provide utilities or communication services offer a discount or a better deal if you have automatic payments or direct debits. It also means you have no fear of missing a payment or paying it late and racking up those late fees.
3. Set a budget
Budgets aren’t just for people who are on a low income or are struggling – pretty much everyone can benefit from setting a budget. It can help you reach those goals of buying something big or reducing your debts.
To set a budget, you need to look at all the money coming into your home, and what it gets spent on. You know then how much money you have left to have fun with or save, or if you need to increase your income or reduce your outgoings.
4. Pay into your emergency fund
Many of us rely on credit cards to pay for those emergencies that have a habit of cropping up all too often. That’s fine – if you have thought about things to consider before opening a credit card. If you haven’t got the credit score to take one out, the willpower to hold off on unnecessary spending or the means to pay it off, don’t. Instead, funnel some of your spare cash into an emergency fund.
5. Pay off debt
It’s easy to push debt to the back of your mind and bury your head in the sand, but it isn’t going to go anywhere. Make this year the year where you are going to sit up, look through them and do what you can to pay them off. If you have considerable debts, you may not be able to pay them off in one go, or even over a few months. Speak to your creditors – many will be more sympathetic than you thought and will allow you to arrange some sort of affordable repayment plan.
Make 2019 the year where you get yourself financially organized.