Cynics will tell you that no new year resolution lasts after January 31st and that the correct way to start the new year is under a cloud of pessimism and apathy.
Many people who have tried to make positive changes in their lives after a Christmas of eating, spending, and boozing often find their good intentions are lost and they are back into bad habits before the Christmas decorations have been taken down.
To make the kinds of changes to your finances that will lead to a more prosperous 2016 you need take a few simple but important actions. If you want to prove the cynics wrong you need to organise for the long term.
If you want to make meaningful financial change in 2016, here are our best suggestions on how to make change sustainable and meaningful.
Review Your Money
The first and most essential task is to review whether the way you save, spend, or invest your money is working for you. In the age of finance comparison websites, it is easier than ever to see what returns or advantages your current account and savings account give you.
January should be your most ruthless month ; if your bank or lender can’t offer you a deal you are happy with, you could consider switching to another bank or lender. There is nothing to be gained from sentimentality or loyalty and if you’re ever unsure about switching, just remember your last bank charge.
The Christmas season now lasts for about three months (November-January) in terms of excessive spending. Many of us are financially crippled by the time we limp back to work in about January 5th.
It can be quite liberating to step off the treadmill of financial bingeing for a while and to adopt a thriftier way of living. Creating a weekly or even monthly budget for shopping, bills, and holiday saving is one way to help manage money more effectively.
Finding those damaging money ‘leaks’ is another essential task. Look at your utility providers (gas, water, and electricity) and ruthlessly scrutinise exactly what they offer and for how much. If you aren’t getting as good a deal as possible, switching has never been easier.
With the money you save, make sure it is channelled in the right direction. This is a task to be completed only after your overheads and liabilities have been brought down. If you are able to make savings or make your money work more efficiently for you, any excess cash you have can be put to good use in one or other kind of investment.
Learn About Money
Perhaps one of the healthiest and most pro-active things you and your family can do together in 2015 is to learn about spending, saving, and investing together.
Many people in Britain today have a frightening lack of financial knowledge and the result of this is often debt and possibly misery. Teaching your children about effective saving, spending and investing is a powerful life lesson that none of us can ignore.
If you would like a little extra help managing your wealth in 2016, why not seek some professional advice from one of our qualified financial advisers?