The start of the year is the perfect time to get your finances in order and set you up for a prosperous year. Whether you have overspent over the festive period or you are looking to make wise investments with your money, now is the right time to put the spotlight on your finances.
Here are some tips to help you to improve how you look after your money:
If you don’t already have a budget then this is the first step you should take. Many people use budgets to keep track of their income and outgoings and to ensure they don’t go overdrawn at any point. This is not the only reason that having a budget is a good idea, as even if you have no concerns about going overdrawn, a budget will provide you with a clearer idea of what you are spending your money on and where money can be saved.
By setting up a budget you can also get into the routine of putting money away, either for savings or to pay for a holiday or other large expense. You can find template for budget trackers through Microsoft Office or you can even download apps.
Get the best Credit Card Deal
If you use credit cards, you should check if you are paying any interest. If you are then it is time to move to a provider that offer 0% interest rate on transfers. There are many providers who offer this at the moment so don’t be paying interest on your credit card, switch now!
Start Investing for the Long Term
Everybody always puts off saving and investment until next month, then next year and eventually you will find that time has run out and you haven’t made the most out of your money over the years. Robert Johnson of The American College of Financial Services advises that you should “Develop a investment strategy and stick with it no matter what the conditions in the market.” He goes on to say that over the last 90 years a diversified portfolio of large capitalization stocks earned, on average, 10% compounded annually. This compared to the 6% that government bonds returned.
Don’t leave investment to be something that you will do in the future. Start now and if you need to speak to someone about portfolio management then speak to investment experts like Carnegie Invest.
Change the way that you socialise
Most of the money that people spend is essential spending like your mortgage, food, clothing etc. However, socialising is an area that people often spend a lot of money on that can easily be changed. Rather than cut down on social activities, try and change the more expensive activities. So if you like to go out for a meal with friends, why not suggest they come to yours for dinner instead and then they can return the favour. Make it a theme night or a ‘Come Dine With Me’ style event rather than a cost-cutting exercise.