2019 is upon us and, as many are carrying out New Year resolutions and making positive changes to our lives, it’s a great time to sort out any money matters.
By acting quickly to change even just a few financial habits, it’s often easy to get back on a back on track.
Here are our nine simple steps and tips to get back on a firmer financial footing in 2019.
#1 Work out how much spending money you will have left each week or month after essential outgoings
Then transfer what’s left out of your main bank account and into another with a separate debit or pre-paid card. They can be used in the same places that credit or debit cards are accepted but you can’t spend money that you don’t have. They’re a great way to retrain yourself to spend responsibly as well as determining if it’s really a necessary purchase.
They also help tremendously when budgeting and planning. Our customers often come to us after having lost track of when payments leave their accounts at various times during the month. This way, you can only spend what you have.
#2 Clear away any the clutter and shop around
You’ve just tidied up your home after Christmas, so why not tidy up your finances too? Compare what you’re currently paying for insurance, broadband and utilities and shop around for better deals. It’s amazing what a difference it can make.
#3 If you’re tempted to spend on a non-essential that you can’t really afford, work out how many hours it would take you to earn that money
Whether that’s a gift or evening out, ask yourself is it worth it? Do you – or indeed your family and friends – really need it?
#4 Plan ahead for any big events or timings and put aside whatever you can afford each day
It’s amazing how these daily £1 or £2 coins add up. Doing so far enough in advance means that the cost of birthdays, nights out, weekends away and holidays can be easily carried across the course of the year as the extra expense tends not to be noticed but it soon accumulates.
#5 Leave your debit and credit cards at home when you go out
Instead, sign up for a pre-paid card that lets you load on your leftover monthly spends. It can be used in exactly the same places that credit or debit cards are accepted. They’re a great option when retraining yourself to spend responsibly.
#6 Try to limit the use of your contactless debit card and stick to cash
Physically handing over cash rather than a card tells your brain that something of value is being exchanged, which can have real benefits on budgeting and reduces overspending.
#7 Be a yellow sticker hunter
Supermarkets often make final reductions on food that’s about to go out of date just before they close. By nipping in just before it closes, you could bag yourself a bargain. Discounts range from a few pence to more than 90%.
#8 Literally freeze your credit card
This way, you have to wait for it to defrost before doing any shopping – online or not.
#9 Don’t be afraid to ask for help
If you’re worried, stressing over or, even worse, ignoring financial problems, the best thing to do is to ask for advice now. The longer you leave it, the worse it gets.