This time of the year is always rather costly. With Christmas presents to buy, Christmas parties to attend, extra food and drink to buy for visiting relatives, the list goes on. It can become rather daunting and we can easily lose sight of budgets and financial plans during the festive season. However, tomorrow will still arrive after the Christmas lights have been taken down and the world goes back to normal, so why not take a look at how you are managing your personal finances; following some simple suggestions will help you to create your Personal Finance Resolutions, putting you in a better financial situation for the year ahead.
Organise your finances
First and foremost, create a summary of income, outgoings and debts. This is the best starting point, as you will have a clear idea of your financial situation, giving you a good foundation to make a plan and budget for the year.
Know what you are spending
Most of us think we know what we are spending, but when you actually sit down and write everything down you are likely to be surprised. The small costs can seem insignificant, however if you are buying your lunch from the local deli every day or your morning coffee each morning, it will soon add up. I knew of someone who used to buy his lunch each day, but ran up a tab at the establishment rather than paying with cash each time he went in. He was shocked to find that he had run up a bill of £300 for the month, just for buying his lunch each day!
- If you can pay by card rather than cash you will see exactly where your money is going.
- Download your statements and create a spreadsheet document to categorise each item, highlighting fixed and variable outgoings as well as discretionary costs such as a new item of clothing or a cinema trip.
- Work out your budget
Manage any debt
There are different rates on credit cards and it is often more cost effective to switch to another one with a lower interest rate, so do some research to see what is the best deal at the moment. If you have bad credit ratings, why not make this the year to change that.
Check that you are paying for what you need to be paying for in terms of insurance cover.
If you are seeking compensation over mis-sold payment protection insurance, you have until 29th August to make you claim.
There are many things that can be done to ensure that you are in a better financial situation.
If you would like some advice on how to manage your finances contact us on 01608 651608 or through our enquiry form