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We all make resolutions come the stroke of Midnight on December 31,st but not too many of us actually stick to them. While you may have slight notions of exercising at the gym more regularly or traveling more, it doesn’t always work out.
One thing that you just can’t afford to let slip however, is your financial planning in the New Year. Here are a few tips to get your new year headed in the right direction.
Get Paid What You’re Worth
You may be happy in your job, but the money isn’t always as good as it should be, especially if you’ve been at the same company for a long time. In the current economic climate, it’s vitally important that you’re paid what you are worth. An element of financial planning is making sure you understand what your job is worth by evaluating your skills and seeing what else is out there. If you feel like you’re being shortchanged it’s time to sit down with your boss or start to look elsewhere.
Financial Planning Requires Spending Less than You Earn
If you don’t do this you’ll quickly become overstretched and start relying on credit cards or payday loans to get you to the end of the month. You don’t want to be in this position. Set yourself a budget (online budget calculators are a good place to start) and cut out those unnecessary expenses.
Set up a Savings Plan
Once you start putting some money away, it’s time to build a savings plan. Saving is another critical element of financial planning. Look at what’s out there such as fixed rate bonds, ISAs, and easy access savings accounts and decide which presents the best option for you. ISAs often represent the best place to start due to the significant tax benefits and high rates of interest. If you’re a little unsure there are plenty of resources online to help you with your decision.
Pay off any Existing Debt
A final aspect of financial planning is paying down debt. Don’t allow lingering debt to rob you of future saving. Try to pay off any existing debt while you’re saving or, if it’s not a massive amount, before you start saving. Focus on unsecured debt, like credit cards. Switching your balance to a card which has a 0% introductory rate on balance transfers is the best place to start as this will help you begin to pay off the actual debt rather than just the interest.
Photo courtesy of: Billy Alexander