Financial tips for the New Year

Become better at your job, in fact, try to become indispensable. This could help if your employer decides to start making redundancies. You can’t afford to be without a job during this bad phase in the economy.

Complete your degree if you haven’t already done so. One of the best investments is in you, so consider investing more into your education.

Take steps to reduce your debt. These steps needn’t consume your entire paycheck. You could start with the smallest debt and work your way up or tackle the one with the highest APR first. Get into the habit of writing down everything that you buy and make sure that these support your goals.

What are your goals? Think of a few that you wish to achieve this year. Write them down and think about them every day but make sure they are measurable. For example, you could make saving for house deposit as one such goal. And can track how much you have progressed with an Excel spreadsheet.

Why buy new things when you can use what you have? You can apply this to clothing, vehicles, electrical appliances and gadgets. You don’t need to buy the newest iPod nor do you need to buy a new laptop every two years. Try to go without buying the newest and brightest and learn to be content with, and enjoy what you have.

Are your savings healthy, or are they languishing in some forgotten account? Your savings should do the hard work, especially if you’re still young. Invest a little time to learn more about the stock market and other investment options. See a financial advisor who can give you unbiased advice. Make your money work hard so that you will be able to retire in comfort.

There are a few saving types you may need. Two of these are a retirement account and an emergency fund. Your retirement account will be used when you reach retirement age; your emergency fund will be used when you need money unexpectedly. This will save you from taking out loans and it’ll also save you the worry of not knowing where to get the money you need so desperately.

How much entertainment do you need? Do you need unlimited broadband, a cable television subscription and a DVD rental account? Perhaps you could eat out a few times less or switch to a cheaper television subscription. There might be more things that you can live without. Find them and save that money, or put it towards your debts.

What bank charges are you paying? Do you budget for these charges, or do you forget that they exist? Make sure that you are not paying too much for the privilege of banking. You could negotiate some of the charges with your bank. You could swap to a different bank if your bank is unwilling to lower certain fees.

Make a list of all the things you need to pay this year: utility bills, insurance, monthly debit orders, and subscriptions. Think of ways to save money on electricity and water. Try to reduce the amount of monthly debit orders by paying the full yearly fee instead, if your finances allow.