Sorting your finances was a great New Year’s Resolution for 2017, this guide is designed to air out those money ambitions and re-access your financial goals for the remainder of the year.
#1 – Order your finances and cut out the bad payments
Get a list of what’s going out and what’s coming in. See at what points your accounts are overdrawn and figure out how you can more evenly spread payments through the month. Look at any extras that you are paying for that you really don’t need – gym membership? TV subscriptions? Everyone is different, so figure out what you would be prepared to let go when it is in front of you in black and white.
#2 – Address your debt and sort the good from the bad
Debt can be easy to ignore, but it can only grow bigger and bigger if you leave it unchallenged. A simple overdraft can get out of control if left unmanaged. Look at exactly what you owe, and to who. Would it be a good idea to consolidate debt on a 0% credit card?
Remember that not all debt is bad so don’t feel guilty about your debt. Debt is commonly categorised into ‘good’ and ‘bad.’ Look at how much bad debt you have – holidays, clothes, excess items that you don’t need, and weigh it up against the good debt – educational courses, car payments, and so on. Good debt is healthy as long as it is repayable and you can meet the terms of the loan. Learn more about ‘good debt’ here. It tells us that good debt should never hurt your overall financial wellbeing. So as a New Year resolution, figure out how you are repaying your debts and give yourself a timeline. If debt is getting on top of you, seek help.
#3- Contact a financial advisor
You can use the money advice service to locate an experienced financial advisor. Financial advisors aren’t there to judge or to pry into your finances, but to help you and figure out how to make your money work for you. If you’re unclear on what best to do with your money, they can advise you the right way, whether that be putting your savings into an ISA, or re-mortgaging to reduce your monthly payments.
Whatever you do this festive season, make sure you put into place some reasonable, reachable resolution financial goals- and look forward, not back!