10 January 2020

We are well and truly into 2020 now, and you might be finding yourself in a reflective mood about all sorts of things you’d like to achieve this year; and looking over your finances to evaluate what you can do differently this year may be one of them.

With the new year comes the opportunity to set yourself plenty of personal targets for the year ahead; be it quitting smoking, doing more exercise or getting a new job.

It’s also a great opportunity to set yourself some financial new years resolutions. In the following blog will explore some of the most popular and useful financial new year resolutions that you could set for yourself, as well as some tips on how you can accomplish these throughout the year.

1. Start a Budget

One of the best ways you can be more conscious of your spending and finances in the new year, is to start a budget. Budgeting is one of the most popular and effective ways of being more financially successful. No matter how much money you earn, a lot of people can find themselves struggling to manage their finances and find it hard to keep on top of what they spend each week or month. Creating a budget for yourself gives you a really useful basic framework to stick to, to help you avoid spending beyond your means throughout the new year.

The process of writing out a budget for yourself can seem quite intimidating; as there are so many different costs to take into consideration. So, in order to help you get started we’ve created a handy Guide on Budgeting in our Debt Advice Hub. When creating your budget, you should also consider what sort of goals you’re hoping to achieve, such as; do you want to budget with your spouse, or any other family members? Or use the budget to reduce spending in specific areas such as food shopping? Or maybe you simply want to set-up and stick to a monthly budget throughout the new year to help you to start setting some money aside for savings?

Whatever your motivations, taking some time to create your own personal budgeting plan for the year ahead is a really sensible and rewarding step to take.

2. Get out of Debt

Another of the most common financial new year resolutions that many people look to achieve, is the desire to get out of debt, which is of course another key way to take control of your finances. By focusing on getting out of any debt you may have, you can reduce the amount you may be paying in interest charges; meaning you can take money you'd otherwise put towards debt repayments somewhere else, such as saving towards a larger financial goal.

Some ideas you can adopt to help you towards the goal of getting out of debt include reducing your overall spending; which you can accomplish with the help of things like monthly budgets (as previously mentioned), selling items you don’t use or have a use for any more and setting up a debt repayment plan with your creditors. You can visit our Debt Advice Hub for more detailed articles that are full of useful hints and tips on how you can plan to get out of debt.

3. Begin Saving Money

Saving money, in general terms, is one of the most effective methods to better financial management in the new year. By working towards the goal of saving a set sum or percentage of your total monthly income instead of spending it, you’ll find that this amount can stack up into considerable savings over the course of a year.

Using the previously mentioned budgeting tool to plan and identify the best areas of expense for you to start saving in, is a good place to start. There are plenty of simple money saving tips that you can use to help towards achieving this goal, such as cutting down on eating out and the number of takeaway meals you have, setting monthly saving goals, reducing your spend on unnecessary items in the weekly food shop, and more.

4. Make Retirement Plans

Although it can seem like another lifetime away, it’s never too soon to start planning ahead for your retirement, and the sooner you start thinking about it, the better your finances will look by the time you actually do retire. For this reason, getting ahead on your retirement planning is another one of the most popular financial new years resolutions people choose.

If you do decide to start saving for your retirement, make sure to do your upmost not to touch any of these savings until you really need them. You should also ask your employer about your work-based pension retirement savings plan and see if you can contribute to it further.

5. Learn more about your Finances

If you’re looking to manage your finances more effectively in the new year, you should also seek out as many opportunities to learn about your finances as possible. You can do this by researching online, reading the financial press or books, or by talking with trusted family members and friends. Perhaps you might want to set a goal to read at least one in-depth source a month; a financial planning book or magazine will give much greater insight into a specific area of financial matters, and see if there are any financial blogs out there that cater to what you’re specifically looking to learn concerning personal finances.

As with most topics these days, the internet is awash with easy to access and free information relating to personal finance, and a little bit of searching can go a long-way in allowing you to read-up on an array of helpful information.

6. Save Money on Energy

Energy Bills are one of the biggest annual costs across facing all households in the UK, and they often take a big chunk out of your finances every month. If one of your financial new years resolutions for 2020 is to cut down on the amount you spend on energy, you can do this by switching energy suppliers, replacing old, outdated appliances with newer, more energy efficient models and switching to energy efficient light bulbs. You could also look to avoid wasting energy by switching off unused devices at the plug, washing your clothes at a lower temperature and if possible cutting back on your central heating use.

7. Reduce your Weekly Food Bill

A final financial new year resolution you might want to consider for 2020, is to cut down on your weekly spend on food shopping. Some good ways to spend less include; planning out your weekly shops ahead of time to avoid impulsive purchases; swapping out the big brands for the cheaper alternatives (which usually taste the same anyway); cooking at home more often if you eat out regularly; and using leftovers more effectively to create new meals.

Also try to avoid classic supermarket tricks that get you to spend more, such as unclear sales pricing and the spreading out of essential grocery items like bread and milk across the store; to get you to pass other items and buy more unnecessary things that you don’t really need!

And that completes this blog article on five of the key benefits and advantages to taking out a same day loan with Buffa. If you wanted to learn a bit more about our same day loans, you can find out more here. Or alternatively for additional financial well being hints and tips, you can go back to the Buffa blog for more articles like this, or visit our Debt Advice Hub for specific articles on a vast range of topics, such as Budgeting, Debt Advice and more.