The turkey has nearly been finished and the New Year is on the horizon. Now is the perfect time to start thinking about your financial New Years resolution.
Rifling through the remnants of the Quality Street tin, you may already be planning to eat healthier or exercise more in 2020. But why not look beyond your waistline and start thinking about your financial health.
If your looking to finally get your foot on the housing ladder in 2020, or add an extension to your house, it’s time to start thinking about a savings game plan.
Clare Francis, director of savings and investments at Barclays has shared a few of her top tips to make your financial New Years resolution a reality.
Financial New Years resolution
1. Before you do anything else make a budget
‘Start by taking stock of what you’re currently spending and where,’ says Clare. ‘From here you can start to see areas where you can scale back and work out how much money you can put away each month.’
‘It can also help to have a goal in mind, saving can be made so much easier when you know you’re onestep closer to achieving something you care about,’ she adds.
2. Swap the high street for charity shops
‘Charity shops stock much more than clothing – think homeware, kitchen essentials and gifts,’ explains Clare. ‘A trip to a charity shop can often unearth a total gem and the fact that these items have lived a previous life, makes the purchase a little more special.’
‘It’s far more eco-conscious to buy preloved belongings and you’re also safe in the knowledge that you’re helping a good-cause,’ she adds. ‘It doesn’t take long to jazz up a bedside dresser that’s looking a little tired, oftentimes a lick of paint and a new handle can breathe new life into it.’
You will be amazed what you can achieve with a can of spray paint and a little ingenuity. Check out some of our budget DIY ideas such as how to get a Smeg-look fridge without the price tag for a little inspiration.
3. Cut household bills and shop around for the best tariffs
‘Taking the time to do a bit of life admin and check which tariffs and deals you’re on for your household bills can save a pretty penny,’ says Clare. ‘Doing your research to make sure you’re not being charged more than you should be will avoid needless spending.’
4. Shut windows and keep energy bills low
‘We’re all guilty of accidentally running up our energy bills every now and then,’ says Clare. ‘Whether it’s opening the window for some fresh air and forgetting about it or walking out of the front door in the morning with the heating on, we can sometimes end up paying more than we’d like to keep our homes warm.’
‘Getting into good habits and taking small actions like checking around the house and resetting timers on your heating and hot water can have a positive effect on bills in the cold winter months,’ she points out.
5. Fund a room revamp by selling old belongings
‘A new year means many of us want to do something new with our home. But revamping rooms doesn’t need to break our new year budget plans,’ says Clare. ‘If you want to refresh your colour scheme or switch your accessories, why not start by selling some of the vases, picture frames or pieces of furniture that will no longer complement the look, and using the money to buy new things.’
‘There’s no need to spend a fortune, particularly if you might want to change everything again in a few years – look online for offers and remember a lick of paint can totally transform the look of a room without costing a lot of money,’ she explains.
Will you be adopting any of these ideas to achieve your financial New Years resolution this year?