Top 10 Financial Tips for your 2017 Resolutions
In addition to the traditional New Year’s resolutions to lose weight or stop smoking, people
often resolve to sort out their finances with 'saving money', 'paying off debts' and 'investing smarter'
being common focus areas.
Here's 10 tips to get started!
1) Keep a spending diary – Before you start sorting out your finances you need to
know where all your money is going.
2) Set a budget – Do you really need to spend £3 a day on a fancy coffee? Make
sure your budget is realistic though and allows you treats otherwise it will instantly fail!
3) Increase your income - One of the easiest ways to improve your finances is to boost
your income. Could you increase the price you charge your customers? If you work
for someone else, could you earn a pay rise or a promotion? If not, look for a new
position or, if necessary, take on a part time job.
4) Maximise your perks – Many bigger companies offer valuable staff benefits such as
pensions, savings schemes and staff discounts. Make sure you are taking full
advantage of all of these benefits as they are equivalent to an extra pay rise.
5) Review your mortgage – Check you have the best possible deal as this could save
you literally hundreds of pounds a week. If affordable you should look to increase
your monthly repayments as this could help you knock years off your mortgage. You can find
a well-reviewed mortgage adviser near you here.
6) Repay your debt - Starting with the most expensive interest rate using the savings
found from your spending diary and your new budget.
7) Insure yourself - You and your wages are your most important asset, don’t forget this
and make sure you are insured against ill health or death. You should speak to an
Independent Financial Adviser to ensure that any insurance you have is competitive.
8) Up your Pension - Join your employer’s pension, start your own pension or increase your
contributions. It’s never too early to start saving for your retirement. You want to
enjoy your retirement drinking Chardonnay in the south of France not eating baked
beans on toast in Cleethorpes!
9) Build an emergency fund –The reason many people get into debt is because they do
not have any savings to start with. Ideally you should have an emergency fund of
between 3 and 6 months’ expenditure.
10) Invest – The stock market has historically given much better long term returns than
deposit accounts and with savings rates at historic lows consider becoming an investor
rather than a saver.
I also suggest you avoid the temptation to go mad in the January sales - remember that
even with up to 50% off in the sales; buying a £100 item for £50 should still be seen as
spending £50 rather than saving £50.
For help in improving your finances, it's worth speaking to an independent financial adviser (IFA).
You can find a well-reviewed IFA near you on VouchedFor or, if you prefer, you can claim one of
10,000 free financial plans that VouchedFor are offering in 2017.