If you make only one New Year’s resolution this year, make it a financial one. The past year has taught us many things, but it’s showed many of us the importance of rainy-day funds. With as many as 8.9 million people on furlough and potentially receiving only 80% of their wages, it’s never too soon to sort out your finances. If you want to have your best financial year yet in 2021, we’ve got some resolutions you should consider.
Get out of debt
The Christmas period tends to be a time when many of us splurge. However, with much uncertainty surrounding this Christmas, it might be a great time to start looking at your finances and putting a plan together to pay off debt. Look at moving credit card debt to a 0% balance transfer and work out how much you could pay off each month, without leaving you short.
With money tight for many us, saving on a regular basis can seem almost impossible. However, if you work out a budget, and look at the amount of unnecessary spending, you’ll find it much easier. It could be anything from cancelling a gym membership to using a round-up app that automatically rounds up purchases to the nearest pound and sets the savings aside. You won’t notice these small savings leaving your account, but they’ll soon add up over the year.
Save money on energy
Upgrading your central heating, home insulation or alternative power sources can drastically cut your energy bills over time. Whether you choose air-source heat pumps, add insulation to roof and wall cavities, or invest in solar panels, making changes to your home can not only help save you money, but can help reduce your carbon footprint too. Be sure to check your finances before investing in any of these measures.
Reduce your food waste
It’s estimated UK households throw away £700 worth of food every year. To help you reduce this waste, make a meal plan for the week and shop accordingly. Left-overs from suppers are great as lunches for the next day. And making your own meals instead of having take-out is much cheaper, and often much healthier. Similarly, ditching big brands in favour of own brands will help you save the pennies, without compromising on taste.
Cut your car costs
One of the unexpected advantages of 2020 is the savings many of us made because we were no longer commuting. Why not continue that car-free way of life into 2021? Where possible leave your car at home and commit to walking or cycling more.
You may even find you don’t need a car at all, and in fact on the rare occasions you do need one, you might find that renting one is much cheaper than owning one.
Plan for your retirement
It’s never too early to start planning for your retirement, and while it may not be at the forefront of your mind, thinking about it now will help in your later years.
Even if you’ve already started contributing to your fund, you can increase those contributions annually. It doesn’t have to be a traditional retirement fund either, you can invest in ISAs, property, and even shares.