Keeping up with the Finances!
Little steps for January…
How is 2019 for you so far? It always feels so strange those first few days as we ease away from the Christmas bubble & back into the world. One of the reasons people often find this time of year a little hard & feel their personal wellbeing slip is the pressure of delivering Christmas from a financial point of view. If you are not the sort to put a little away each month, then trying to put on a good Christmas for your family can be a real stretch come December, with January feeling a bit of a shock.
So what can you do to try and regain control when you feel a bit blue about the finances? My first thought would be, try not to judge yourself harshly. It is not useful to think of all the things you could have done differently. But what is useful is thinking about what strategies you can put in place to help yourself make good decisions in the future. Probably the key to succeeding at anything in life is planning. So let's look at that. How can you plan for future wellbeing financially?
First of all, if you want to get a clear idea of where you are financially
Take 3 months worth of bank statements and go through them all looking at what your regular outgoings are, then put those into a household budget somewhere. Perhaps an Excel spreadsheet, but if its in a note on your phone then its better than nothing.
Once you know what all your regular bills are, look back further and check if you have anything that comes out once a year, once a quarter etc, and make sure those are accounted for.
Next check if any of the direct debits that are coming out of your account are unnecessary now, if there are any memberships or services you are still paying for that you dont need to, cancel them.
Use a website such as Moneysupermarket https://www.moneysupermarket.com/ go on and check that you are getting the best price for all of your utilities such as Gas, Electrictity, Telephone and Broadband. You can save a lot of money this way.
Check that your mobile phone is on the best tarrif by calling your provider. And if you have insurance policies such as Pet, Home Content and Buildings, review those against the market too.
If you have a mortgage, it is worth speaking to a broker for the best deals.
Once you are sure that you have your budget done, and you’ve price checked all your outgoings, then also make sure you are capturing all of your incomings accurately. This will lead you to create an average month where you know incomings vs outcomings.
Finally another area to review is your debts. Make sure that all of your credit cards are on the best deals, because paying interest is often a large drain on the pocket. If you have a couple of cards it is often possible to move around the sums as you pay them down.
Be sure to check moneysavingexpert https://www.moneysavingexpert.com/ for information on the best deals right now.
Next up, decide what you would personally like to see happen this year. Is it a new car, a holiday, a trip to see relatives overseas, helping a child go on a school trip, or providing a more comfortable christmas?
Each of these goals can be broken down into monthly achievable amounts.
Think about what habits you have that may be stopping you from hitting the amount you need to save. For example, do you shop in Waitrose when Lidl would do the trick, do you buy an expensive takeaway coffee several times a week, do you always buy your lunch from a sandwich bar when a home made sandwich would be fine.
There are even some fantastic tools like The Demotivator on Money Saving Expert website that shows you in scary black and white what that daily treat is costing you per year https://www.moneysavingexpert.com/shopping/demotivator/
When setting goals try to visualise your feelings of wellbeing & achievement when you see the target hit, visualisation is a powerful tool in realising our goals
Well I really hope that is a helpful blog to start the year with, to further help you, we will be running a workshop later this month, that you can hear about here (click to link to event)
All the best