Smart Money Moves: 5 New Year Resolutions for 2024
22nd December 2023
The start of the new year is a great time to look at your money situation and decide on some financial goals. Whether it's creating a budget, taking advantage of better savings rates, reviewing your credit score, or making a solid budget plan, here are five money resolutions for the new year in 2024.
Make prioritising savings your proactive approach in the new year—don't rely on leftovers at month-end. Improve savings by placing it at the forefront of your budget, speeding up your savings growth. Keep an eye on savings account rates as they fluctuate, ensuring your money works optimally for you.
You could make saving easier by putting some money from your paycheck into a different account right away. One way you could do it is to arrange for your money to move from your regular account to your savings automatically. This means you won't need to remember to do it yourself. Doing this helps you save a part of what you earn every month without having to worry about it.
You can also set up a regular deposit into a savings account that doesn't have a card to help you save consistently.
Working out a budget
Creating and sticking to a budget is a key foundation for financial success, especially as we are starting the new year. A well-thought-out budget considers your income, expenses, and savings goals. Track your spending diligently, making adjustments when necessary. Whether you opt for an old-school approach with a notebook and pen, or a digital method like an Excel spreadsheet, find what works for you. Allocate funds for fixed bills, set weekly budgets for fuel and groceries, and embrace price matching to maximise savings.
You could try using the 50/30/20 budget rule- it's a straightforward strategy for financial management. Allocate 50% for needs like rent, utilities, and groceries; 30% for wants such as entertainment and dining out; and 20% for savings and debt repayment, prioritising emergency funds and retirement savings. This rule serves as a helpful guideline to ensure wise spending, living within your means, and achieving your financial goals.
Remember, the best budgeting method is the one that lets you complete your financial goals.
Look for ways to cut back on expenses
As we step into the new year, it's crucial to examine our spending habits and identify areas for potential savings.
Cutting down on subscriptions for services you don’t use, or even deleting apps that may lead you to spend more, could help you save substantially. Another trick would be to keep your selected product in the shopping cart for some time to see if you really need the item. You could assess the opportunity cost and explore if items at home can serve the same purpose. Most importantly, commit to a realistic budget and maintain discipline. A budget tailored to your reality is key to financial success, ensuring you stay on track with your financial goals.
Reduce your utility bills
If you're aiming to cut down on your gas or electricity expenses, exploring options like switching suppliers or changing your current tariff could be beneficial. An energy tariff is essentially a pricing plan provided by your energy supplier. To find the most suitable tariff, Citizen’s Advice say you could familiarize yourself with common types and understand their implications.
While there haven't been many switching deals due to energy cost challenges, the landscape is evolving, and more deals may emerge. When thinking about a switch, carefully assess the potential changes in energy costs and how they might impact your overall savings to ensure you make a cost-effective decision.
Aim to improve your credit score
Your credit rating is really important. It could be the deciding factor of if you can get a mortgage for a house or finance for a car. When you borrow money or sign up for things like a phone contract, your credit score is what companies look at to see if you're risky to lend to.
You can check your score using services like Experian or Equifax. Depending on your personal situation, taking a small, manageable loan and paying it back on time could also help you improve your rating.
As we embark on a new year, let's embrace small changes like the ones mentioned above to build a brighter financial future. Cheers to a year filled with financial wellness and peace of mind!