According to a recent study, almost two-thirds of New Year’s Resolutions are finance-related - with many striving to better their financial position before 2024 is over.
However, resolution setting alone often is not enough to make this dream a reality - you have to be willing to take action. With that in mind, here are strategic ways in which you can better your financial situation in the coming year!
Take budgeting seriously.
There are many benefits associated with effective budgeting. For example, it can help you save money for significant life events, such as buying a house, planning a wedding, or even heading on your dream vacation. However, it is also one of the most effective ways to protect yourself from money troubles.
Despite this, one in five adults do not track their monthly spending. While this may not seem to be a major issue, failing to budget means you may be unaware of the financial mistakes you may be making or that you are spending more money than is necessary each month. Over time, this could be lowering your financial prospects.
As such, moving forward, it is important that you set yourself a monthly (or even weekly) budget and ensure that you stick to it as much as possible.
Make smart investments.
Investing is another excellent way to better your financial situation, though it is not without its risks. For this reason, it is crucial that you do not invest more money than you are able to lose, even if you have a lot of faith in the investment itself.
You should also ensure that you do plenty of research ahead of time so that you know you are making the best possible decision. For example, while property investment is often considered a lucrative investment opportunity, you should research some local property investment stats beforehand. This way, you can enter the market at the best possible time, improving your ROI (Return On Investment).
Open a savings account.
Per a recent study from the Financial Conduct Authority, 3 in 10 adults do not have any form of savings account. While this does not mean they aren’t actively saving money (they could be keeping it in their “normal” bank account), it is not the most effective way to save.
After all, putting money into a savings account stops you from spending this money accidentally and also gives you a chance to earn interest on any money that you add to the account.
Use cashback apps and discount codes.
Many of those trying to save money or improve their financial situation will try to keep spending to a minimum - but there are some expenses that are simply unavoidable, such as your weekly grocery shopping. This is where cashback apps/websites and discount codes can make a real difference!
As such, whenever you’re about to make a purchase online, make sure you do some research ahead of time to see if there are any discount codes you can apply. Failing this, use a cashback app or website, which will put some money back in your account, typically within a few weeks of the original transaction.
Hold yourself accountable.
Sometimes, the difference between improving your finances or staying stuck in the same difficult situation is your ability to hold yourself accountable. For example, if you’re giving into your every whim when shopping or constantly “treating yourself,” it will be near impossible to reign in your spending in a way that betters your finances. Instead, you could actually be sending yourself into debt!
If you struggle to hold yourself accountable, try downloading a spending-tracking app on your phone. This way, you’ll receive consistent notifications relating to your spending, especially when you’re about to go over budget.
Consider a side hustle.
Picking up a side hustle or starting your own business is another great way to improve your financial situation in the new year. While this will require a significant investment of your time and energy (and likely some money, too, in order to get started), it could also help you to take the next step in your career.
There are many different side hustles to choose from, and you must find one that you genuinely enjoy. Otherwise, you may lack the motivation required to keep up the side hustle alongside your usual 9-5 job. Furthermore, when you find something that you enjoy doing, you’re more likely to put the necessary time and energy into the project, increasing your chances of success moving forward.