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Oh hello 2019, didn’t see you sneak into our lives all of sudden. But hey now that you’re here, it’s good to see you. The new year for me is always a mixture of excitement and dread. Excitement for the 365 days because it’s an opportunity to achieve new goals but I dread January for how quiet it can be and that long stretch between December’s pay packet and the January one. I’m eating salads for lunch at the moment because I’m avoiding spending money. Experian has a campaign called #ExperianMoneyDiaries and it gives me the opportunity to tell you about how I manage money. This month is all about budgeting your money for the New Year. Ha.
You can check out my first post where I talked about saving money over the Christmas period, it’s a good ‘un. So how, you may be asking, do you budget for the new year?
Have A Savings Plan
The first thing you want to think about is what you’d like to save towards. Having something in mind will help keep you motivated in putting that money aside. So think about any big life events that could be coming up and how much you’ll need. It might not even be a big expenditure, perhaps you just want to set aside £50 per month to go towards a holiday or some new clothes. Planning is always going to help you avoid splurging, so lay out a plan either on an excel spreadsheet or in a notebook, listing your financial goals and how you much you want to save each week or per month.
Pay Off Debts Quickly
One of the things I touched upon in my saving money for Christmas post, was using a credit card.
If you can pay off your balance each month in full, you won’t have to pay any interest. Otherwise, you risk spending more money that you just don’t have. If not, then interest will usually be charged at the stated APR (Annual Percentage Rate), unless the card has a 0% promotional offer. I think that’s how you have to look at loans or credit cards, at the end of the day it’s not your money. So make 2019 the year where you get a handle on your debts. Pay them off as quickly as you can whenever you manage to get an extra stream of money.
Compare Your Current Household Bills
Your household bills can take out a wedge of your income, so it’s always good to start off the new year by looking at your bills and seeing whether it’s worth switching over to a new provider. As a consumer, you have the ability to hold the power in this situation so compare providers, get quotes and see which one will fight for you as a customer. Companies will want the opportunity to steal their competition’s customers, so this is the perfect opportunity to take advantage. Experian compares energy prices, so you don’t have to and it makes the whole process easier. Make sure you check it out!
Have An Emergency Fund
An emergency fund is essential for life’s little (or big) problems. We all have those moments in life where the unexpected can happen and therefore we need some form of back up financially. If you haven’t already, now is the time to think about setting up an emergency fund. Whether it’s saving with your partner or opening a fixed ISA where you put in a bit of money every so often, an emergency fund that you can dip into when things get tough can help you avoid getting into debt or financial trouble in general.
Do you have a budgeting plan for 2019? Let me know in the comments below.
*Disclaimer – This is a collaborative post with Experian. All words are my own.