Financial Management Tips for the New Year

After Christmas, we’re feeling a little guilty about our financial and culinary indulgences (oops). If you open up your bank account and see rolling tumbleweed, it’s time to look forward to the New Year – make a resolution that you’ll keep: mastering your financial management.

Get Paid What You’re Worth And Live Within Your Means

Are you overworked and underpaid? Talk to your boss and see if you can get a pay rise. Either this or look out for a new, better paid job. In the meantime, make plans to live within your means. Every month, you should be able to cover all your expenditures and have money to play with. Living from pay cheque to pay cheque is unhealthy, and you should be saving like a trooper.

Supercharge Your Savings

According to general consensus, you should have three to six months of your wages saved up, as a precaution. If you have to unexpectedly leave your job, this means you will have a little financial cushion to keep you propped up until you find your next mode of employment. One account that you should have set-up is a high-interest savings fund which you pay money into every month. You might also want an easy-access savings account for those times when you need a source of money in an emergency situation.

Make Money On The Side

To supplement your income, you can make money outside your job in many ways. You can do online surveys, turn your hobby into a source of income, or do odd-jobs for neighbours, like walking their dog! If your salary pays for all the serious outgoings, this extra income could be for treats to reward yourself.

Organise Your Money

Whatever you do, don’t ignore your bank balance. The best way to manage your finances is to organise your money. Make sure that your financial documents are carefully filed and check up on your balance regularly. Meet payment deadlines by setting up direct debits, just in case you forget.

Draw up a budget and stick to it. This way you know exactly where your money needs to go and you can slap yourself on the wrist if you go over your target expenditure. Make a conscious effort to halt spending on luxuries until you’re in a financially stable position. That might mean staying-in instead of going out for a few weeks, but it’s imperative that you keep out of debt.

Cut Costs

Review your outgoings. Is there any place where you can make savings? Aim to reduce the price of your weekly shop by buying online, where you can get the total shop cost down to the desired amount. Compare the prices of your energy providers and see if you can save some money by switching companies. Buy only things that you need, not things that you want. Walk away from luxury items and leave it a week before you decide to make the purchase. By that point, you may realise how superfluous the item really is.

This article was contributed by Lloyd, a freelance writer and blogger, on behalf of Brookson Accountants.