The year is almost coming to an end, and for many of us, that means thinking about our New Year’s goals and resolutions. Saving money is usually a huge resolution for most people when the New Year comes around, whether it’s a general resolution to spend less and save more, or there’s a set sum of money in mind. And when it comes to money, coming up with New Year’s resolutions for yourself is the simple part – dedicating yourself to and following through with your resolutions can be a whole different story. Because of this, it’s important to make sure that you are setting realistic, achievable financial goals for yourself.
Pay off your debts:
Depending on the amount of debt that you are in, your goal for the New Year could involve becoming completely debt-free, or simply reducing the amount of debt that you have as much as possible. There are many different options that you might want to consider for doing this; debt consolidation loans are often a good idea as they give you the option to repay everything that you owe, leaving you with one more manageable and often cheaper monthly payment, or you could try the snowball method of eliminating debt, which involves repaying the smallest debt first then using the money you’d normally pay towards that to repay the next debt down, and so on.
Make extra mortgage payments:
Resolving to make an extra payment or two towards your mortgage can be a good New Year’s resolution to have, as it won’t be too difficult to achieve, but can make a massive difference in terms of how long you’re going to be paying your mortgage for. Making just one extra payment each year reduces the time and amount that it will take to own your home outright, along with reducing the amount of interest that you pay.
Find a way to make a side income:
Finding a side hustle is a great resolution to have this New Year, especially with so many different options that you can choose from when it comes to making some extra money on top of your full-time career. The extra money and peace of mind that comes from having a second source of income can be a great way to reduce financial stress; even an extra few hundred pounds a month can help you with paying your bills or reducing debt.
Start an emergency fund:
If you do not already have one, starting an emergency fund can be a great resolution to make in the New Year. You never know what’s around the corner when it comes to your finances, so having some money in the bank that you can fall back on if you hit hard times is a good way to ensure that you’re more confident about your money. Bear in mind that even a stash of money equivalent to one or two months of your average income can go quickly, so try and build up a fund that you are comfortable with.
Become accustomed to saving:
Saving money might sound easy, but in reality, it can be one of the most difficult things to do – especially if saving money for you means cutting down on expenditures. This New Year, it’s a good idea to get into the habit of putting money into a savings account on a regular basis, even if it’s just a small amount. To get the best results with this, try to save money straight away when you get paid, rather than waiting to see if you have any money left over to save at the end of the month.
Invest in your retirement:
It’s never too early to start planning financially for your retirement – in fact, the earlier the better in most cases. These days, it can be difficult to count on anybody but yourself to prepare for your retirement, so make 2020 the year that you start paying money into a retirement fund and putting money away for your golden years. Remember that the earlier you start, the more money you will have to enjoy when you retire.
Come up with a budget:
Finally, laying out a budget for yourself is an easy, achievable New Year’s resolution that you can do while you’re chilling at home. And, your budget doesn’t have to be in a spreadsheet – a simple hand-written list of your income and expenses can help you get started. The part of this resolution that can be more difficult is committing yourself to adhere to the budget you’ve set.
Which of these is going to be your financial New Year’s resolution?