A great time to get your finances in order

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The New Year is a good time to overhaul your financial life and make resolutions which can help you achieve your goals.

Firstly I would suggest that, to make any progress, you need to have a spending budget and be determined to stick with it. Analyse your spending currently and see if you can save money by remortgaging to a lower rate or save money by switching your utilities or telecoms.

Kieron Bassett

Kieron Bassett

Shop smarter and make more use of offers, perhaps switch supermarkets to extract further savings. Discretionary expenses, I believe, are the area where some of the biggest savings can be made with some of the nice to have purchases being cut out, that include eating out and impulse purchases.

Hopefully by cutting overall spending enough, savings will have been generated to move on to other resolutions with the second being debt reduction. The key to success in this area is to pay down debt with the highest interest rate paid first. Also, keep an eye on your bank account and ensure you do not incur unnecessary charges.

The third resolution to set money aside for an emergency. Try to prepare yourself for a life without personal debt with enough savings in this area to deal with the unexpected, so if anything goes wrong you don’t have to get into the vicious circle of putting money on to a card which attracts high rates of interest. Once budgets are under control and debts paid off resolution four becomes a reality.

This means you having the ability to save for perhaps some of the things you may have denied yourself. Committing to saving in this way will possibly mean you are less likely to spend those savings frivolously, as the financial discipline you have built up means you are more likely to only spend what you have.

Resolution five is saving more for retirement. Make sure that having taken care of short/medium term savings you don’t neglect the long term and forget to buy a pension. Pensions are more attractive now with pension freedoms and a real effort could be made by many to accumulate more by saving more.