Munching through the last of the leftovers, decorations packed away for another year… it’s out with the old and in with the new. So what are your New Year’s resolutions for 2017? Get healthy or active? Take up a new hobby? Or perhaps get your finances on track?
Money management is a bit like dieting. If you resolve to live on kale smoothies for the month of January, you’ll probably be down the kebab shop with Auld Lang Syne still ringing in your ears. Likewise, when it comes to setting financial goals, you need to be realistic. Like the best diet, the best budget is easy to maintain and is a long term undertaking, rather than a quick fix.
To help you get your personal finances off to a great start in 2017, here are 5 simple steps to help you save money and improve your financial outlook for the coming year:
1) Do a money audit
Sit down with a cuppa and go through your bank statements with a fine tooth comb. Go back at least 6 months and categorise all of your outgoings – such as rent / mortgage, loans and credit card repayments, household bills, food and going out. Once you have totted up each category you will have a very real picture of where your hard-earned income is actually going. You will then be in a position to see what areas you can reasonably rein in your spending or where you may be paying too much.
2) Be honest with yourself about debt
If you are struggling with debts, the worst thing you can do is bury your head in the sand. Your money audit will have shown you exactly what you are spending on debt repayments. If this is more than you can afford, get in touch with your creditors and make a plan to restructure or consolidate your debts. You can get a copy of your credit report from the likes of Experian or Clearscore.com
3) Shop around
Following on from step 2, if you are paying extortionate interest on credit cards or loans, consider transferring the balances to lower-interest options.
4) Set a budget
Here the diet analogy holds true! When deciding a budget, don’t tighten your belt to the extent that you are miserably watching every penny or you’ll soon fall off the wagon. Small sacrifices make a big difference. For example, by giving up your weekday morning Costa Latte, you’ll save £663 over the year!
5) Save by standing order
So you have now audited your expenditure, put a plan in place to manage your debts, switched providers to get the best deals and honed down your everyday expenditure.
Our final New Year’s resolution for your financial well-being is to put some away for a rainy day (or household emergency). Financial experts recommend that you start small and then gradually increase the amount. Setting up a standing order to go directly into a savings account once a month, means you won’t see the money, so you won’t miss it.
Happy New Year from all of the team, here’s to financial health in 2017!
Start the New Year off with a bonus – Refer a friend to Boox and we’ll give you £100
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