January, the dullest of months! Most of us are on a diet, spending our free time slogging at the gym and working hard to cover our credit card bill from Christmas- it’s certainly not a month of fun and games for most people. However it is a fresh start, and if you are interested in finance, you will no doubt be thinking of ways that you can make improvements to your budget and spending in 2018. Here are some ideas for going about it!
Stick to a Budget
Creating a budget, and sticking to it is key for staying in control of your money. Budget for all of your essential bills first- rent, utilities, travel and food, and whatever you have left you’re free to spend or save. By doing this, you ensure you never overspend and fall behind. Open a separate account for bills, that way the money is always kept separate.
Once you have your budget in place, it’s easy to see where you are overspending. Once you know this, you can begin to make cutbacks. It could be cutting out subscriptions like Netflix or Spotify, it could mean eating fewer takeaways or buying less clothes. Do you smoke or drink too much? Cutting back here could save money. We all have our vices, cutting back on them will be good for your budget as well as your health.
Get Out of Debt
Being in debt is expensive, as every month you’re carrying a balance you will be paying interest to your creditor. This can add up over the months and years, and so if you want to save yourself money, getting out of debt is essential. You could use any savings you have to pay down balances, or sell items you don’t need to raise money. Alternatively you could take out a debt consolidation card or loan from a company like DebtConsolidation.Loans and use this to pay off all of your other accounts. That way, instead of paying lots of different amounts of interest on different accounts each month you only pay one. On top of this, many have an introductory period where you don’t get charged interest, which gives you a little while to bring down the balance as much as possible.
Sell What You No Longer Need
Speaking of selling items, this is a good way to either raise money to pay debts or to spend on something else. The average household has hundreds and sometimes even thousands in unwanted items. Scour your loft for antiques, sell old smartphone handsets and tablets, sell old clothes and bric a brac on boot sales or use eBay for unusual or collectable items. Rather the money is in your pocket than held in an item you don’t want collecting dust!
These are just a few of the things you could be doing this month to make January a little less of a pinch and set yourself up for financial security all throughout the year.
What financial resolutions have you made for 2018?