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28 December 2016

Making Smart Financial New Year’s Resolutions 

On the final day of the year we so often make resolutions for the next 365 days that we have every intention of sticking to. Over time, and with the pace of modern life getting in the way, these can quickly become empty promises. One New Year’s resolution that will pay dividends, however, is to be in control of your finances. Here, Kate Murray, Senior Savings Product Manager at Principality Building Society, shares her financial resolution recommendations for 2017.

Let’s face it, we’ve all made resolutions in the past we didn’t stick to. But today of all days is the time to set a realistic goal for the year to come. In the current climate there could be no better resolution than being completely in control of your finances and saving regularly. Not only is the New Year an ideal time to take a fresh outlook on your financial situation, but the skills you will pick up from taking a more active approach to your accounts will serve you well for years to come.

Simply, save regularly

Saving money is a good habit to get in to at any time of the year.  A few pounds a week or a few hundred a month, regardless of the amount, putting some money aside regularly is a great habit (and can be a lot easier than you might expect). If you have a steady, regular income, you could set up a standing order straight to a savings account, which means you don’t have to lift a finger or give into temptation to splurge. This savings pot will be there to help protect you against the unexpected in life – flat tyres, burst boilers, school trips and so on- or enabling you to enjoy life when the time is right.

Making financial goals achievable

While regular saving could help futureproof your finances, it also allows you to set savings goals. Are you buying a new car, saving for a deposit on a house or renovating the kitchen? Regardless of the target, why not set yourself a goal to meet by halfway through or at the end of 2017? Remember however, to set manageable goals that you can actually meet, and which won’t leave you unnecessarily short of cash day-to-day.

Think about the future

The thing you put off thinking about this year will soon be upon you. Life is built around important milestones which sometimes come with a financial burden.  Preparing for the future and saving for house deposits, childcare costs, tuition fees and retirement funds, will leave you in control when those moments eventually arrive. You guessed it, the key here is regular saving and getting to grips with just how much you might need to put aside. Once this has been put in place, you’ll breeze through those big moments with the funds to put you in full control.

Don’t be afraid to shop around

Comfort and familiarity is a great thing, but when it comes to your insurance policies or energy suppliers, there could be something much better out there. Make it your resolution in 2017 to look for new deals, speak to new providers and check what offers you could be getting elsewhere. As a customer, you’re entitled to shop around and chat with your provider about competitive prices. There could be money to be saved in the process, which could help go towards the money you put aside each month.

Be spending savvy

Can you think of something you bought this year that you’ve never used, or clothes that you’ve not worn yet? We’re all guilty of buying unnecessary items every now and then. So, in 2017 consider how you could cut back. Think about how much you spend each month. Plan meals ahead for the week to avoid buying too much food and think about whether you need that new item of clothing or if you have something similar in the wardrobe already. You’d be surprised how much you could save by being more conscious on how much you’re spending.

Give your finances a spring clean

With the beginning of a New Year comes an ideal opportunity to spring clean your finances, from stopping unwanted subscriptions, clearing off outstanding debt, to cancelling credit cards you no longer need. Not only could your bank statements look much cleaner but you’ll be starting with a fresh outlook for the year ahead that will set you in good stead for a successful and prosperous 2017.

Happy New Year from Principality Building Society. 

Published: 28/12/2016