With the New Year right around the corner, many of us are planning to make resolutions for the year ahead. However, rather than setting a goal we’re likely to give up on after a few weeks – why not make the resolution to get your finances in order for 2020 – and with just a little effort you could set yourself up for a much more stable year by reducing your outgoings. Here are our top tips:
Tip one: Tackle your borrowing
For most of us, our biggest expenses come in the form of mortgage, loan and credit card payments. Your mortgage is of course your most important expense and as such it should be the first you address. So if you’re reaching the end of a fixed term start planning ahead now, but don’t be sucked in by attractive headline rates – make sure you factor in all the set-up costs, such as the arrangement fees, and work out the total cost of a mortgage over the term of the deal.
With loans, January is often the time when people consolidate their debts. This can be a smart move to secure one monthly payment – but make sure you check your credit file first and that your credit rating is good, or you are unlikely to get the deals advertised. Simple changes to your credit file could make a big difference – such as registering on the electoral roll and ensuring all mistakes are corrected.
As for credit cards, it may sound obvious, but try to avoid paying any interest. There are a host of zero per cent balance transfer deals available. Meanwhile, if you don’t have credit card debt but plan to use your card for purchases and pay off the balance each month, make sure you reward your spending with a cashback or rewards card.
Tip two: Switch to save
One of the fastest ways to save money is to note down the renewal dates of all your financial products – such as car/home insurance, broadband, and even your gas and electricity deals. Once you’ve found these dates mark them on your calendar and a couple of weeks before, search online with a comparison website to see if there are cheaper deals available by switching. Don’t fall into the trap of assuming loyalty pays – most companies offer cheaper deals to new customers to attract their business.
Tip three: Spend less when you buy
While we may vow to spend less during 2020, to suggest we can cut out all our outgoings is ridiculous – there are essentials we simply cannot live without. However, that doesn’t mean we can’t save money on these purchases.
There are now several comparison tools that allow you to compare prices on everything from DVDs to music. In addition, you can take advantage of voucher codes on goods ranging from electrical items to food and fashion. So whenever you’re going to spend, make sure you’re saving too.