A lot of us made money-related New Year’s resolutions for the year – are you planning on it? Perhaps you resolved to start a regular savings habit, to pay off your credit card, or to get ahead on your home loan? How are those resolutions going?
If you haven’t thought about them since mid-January (which is the case for many of us) then it’s time to give your money matters another kick-start. So for those who have a few hours to spare over the holidays, here are a few tips.
Get your paperwork organised
It’s difficult to track where your money is going if your home office or filing tray is a mess. According to a number of surveys, clutter and mess affects both our mood and our productivity. It makes sense, really! Investing a few hours in organising your paperwork can help you to feel a lot more in control.
It may also result in you rediscovering old savings accounts, term deposits, or credit cards you’d forgotten about, which in turn will allow you to consolidate and further organise your finances. The downside is that you might uncover outstanding bills, but this just means you’ll be able to pay them instead of continuing to forget about them.
Work out where your money is going
Sure you might have a budget, but do you actually follow it? A budget is worthless unless you treat it as an instruction manual rather than a sci-fi novel. There are plenty of good online budget calculators out there – you can give ours a try.
It can be easy to forget or lose track of little things that you’ve purchased lately; things like a bottle of water here or a coffee here can quickly add up if you’ve forgotten about the three or four coffees you bought last week. But whether it’s your credit card that costs a bomb or takeaway food that you didn’t need to buy, knowing where your money is being spent helps you find ways to save.
Set a Christmas savings goal – or an Easter savings goal
Yes, the next holidays are still many months away, but I’m sure there’s something you’d love to do over those holidays if you could afford it. Setting a tangible, achievable goal is one of the best ways to encourage consistent and continued savings!
So decide on a goal, calculate how much it will cost you to get there, divide it by however many weeks there are until the next holidays – and start saving. Sometimes you just need to do it!
These things are always easier said than done, so if you need some help in sticking to your money goals, try this article on three ways to make your money-related New Year’s resolutions stick.