The New Year is a time for people to make resolutions, whether it’s to get fit, eat better or make other positive life changes. It is also a good time to take stock of our finances and plan what we can do with our money in the months or years ahead.
So, if you’re keen to make 2020 the year to sort out your finances, here are some suggestions.
Tackle any debt
Many people overspend during the festive period, making January a good time to tackle debt. Take a look at credit card debt, and if you can, transfer balances to a card that offers 0% interest on balance transfers. Take a close look at how you can pay off debt as quickly as possible so that you pay the minimum in interest and other fees.
If you need additional help to manage and resolve your debt issues, it may be worth seeking professional advice.
Consulting a financial advisor can help you plan all aspects of your finances. Many use specialist financial adviser software to help track plans and options. To find out more, explore what software do financial advisers need? or look at the Financial Conduct Authority’s website at https://www.fca.org.uk/.
The interest on debt is often higher than the interest you can earn on savings, so it’s a good idea to pay off debt first. However, if you can arrange your budget so that you have a little left over at the end of each month to save, you’ll soon reap the rewards.
Make a list of all of your outgoings. Check direct debits and make sure you’re not paying for anything you no longer need or use. You may be able to make simple savings, such as by taking your lunch to work rather than buying it. You’ll be amazed at how it can all add up.
Plan for your retirement
The earlier you start planning for your retirement, the better. For instance, lots of retirees will sell their life insurance policy which yields far more money than surrendering it to the insurance company. If you don’t already have a pension, consider starting one. If you do, see if you can increase your contributions. If you’re planning to rely on ISAs or property to fund your old age, make sure these are carefully managed so that you achieve what you are expecting.
Whatever your financial goals, make 2020 your first step toward achieving them!