The start of a new year and January in particular is always a great time to shake things up when it comes to your finances. However, it’s important to make realistic changes that you know you are going to be able to stick to and not just motivate yourself to do whilst you are in the hype of “New Year, New Me”. As the Scientists say, it takes approximately 66 days for new habits to form.
Below I am going to provide some simple tips you can follow to give your finances a helping hand:
- My first tip is an essential housekeeping rule which may be a real eye opener for you, if you haven’t done it before or it’s been a while since you last did this. Simply log onto your online banking and go through your list of direct debits and standing orders. Really review them and delete old direct debits and standing orders that are no longer valid but have remained in your list. Simply deleting them is a great feeling and helps you to start feeling more organised and in control. More importantly review all your direct debits and standing orders and have a cut throat approach with those that you’ve been paying but have not benefitted from at all, for example gym memberships, coffee shop subscriptions, magazine subscriptions, if they’ve not benefitted you, then why have you continued paying for them?? I regularly carry out this exercise and I always have this mission to reduce my list of outgoings as much as I can. It really does help you to feel more in control and put your money to much better use.
- Consider setting up a new account with a modern day bank like Starling. With Starling, I love their streamlined services, they are a fuss free, high calibre online banking facility. I have their App set up, it’s a quick and easy log in process, none of this fussing with card readers etc which can be frustrating when you can’t locate them and once in you can get on with seeing your balance and doing whatever you logged in to do. Starling also has some great features like sending a payment link to your friends and family who may need to pay you some money after having been out for meal or owing you for something you’ve bought for them. The feature is called Settle Up and is a great way of getting money owed to you without having to have that awkward wait or the hassle of having to send your bank details and the other person taking a while to do the transfer. The Settle Up feature sends a payment link to the person who owes you money and they just click on that link and pay the amount it specifies that they owe. This can help you to stay on top of monies owed to you without losing track.
- If you have big plans for 2022 that you want to save up for, be it an extravagant holiday, wedding, weekend away with the girls I highly recommend joining a bank like Monzo or Revolut, they have this great feature where you can set up separate money pots and transfer individual funds into each one. A great tip is to do this on payday so it’s done and out of the way. You can then sit back and see your fun money pots grow. It’s a good way to save in an organised way and know exactly what funds you have set aside for your particular plans. Once again with Monzo, I have it as an App on my phone, so it’s easily accessible and helps me keep on top of my finances in an organised way. See my linked article on a great referral offer Monzo and Revolut are doing for new accounts, why not get a free cash boost with their referral rewards to get your money pots growing.
- Join cashback sites like Topcashback and Quidco and start earning money on your purchases that you are already making online. See my article on these two fabulous cashback sites and exactly how they work. It really is a no brainer. I never quite understand why people don’t use cashback sites. You’re literally throwing money away. I am 100% a cashback site fan and love receiving cashback amounts on purchases I have made, it’s a great money saving tool and rewarding to use those funds towards something else.
- Start thinking of ways you could earn additional income, be it from side hustles, survey sites, carrying out market research, blogging, crafting the options are endless. If you have a talent and have been pondering over monetising it, then there is no time like the present, go for it. Have a read of my article here of how I pursued a passion of mine which led onto things I never imagined.