As we enter a New Year, many of us will be setting out our resolutions for the next 12 months. Most things will appear yet again...get fit, earn more money etc. So what do you need to do to turn your dreams into reality? Read on for seven handy pointers.
Set financial goals
It might sound pretty obvious, but when you’re deciding your financial New Year’s resolutions, start with what you want to achieve by the end of the year. Laying out your goals and writing them down is the first step to staying on the right track. After all, they’re much harder to forget when they’re in black and white.
Create a budget
Have a look at what you spent in 2015 and use this as the basis for your 2016 budget. If there’s anything left over, use it to pay off debts before you think about savings and investments.
Tell someone about your goals
People who talk about their financial goals are more likely to achieve them. Share your resolutions or goals with us and review them regularly throughout the year to let us know how you’re getting on.
Your financial health is just as important as your actual health
Take a good look at your spending patterns to see where you can save more money. Make sure you’re receiving the best rates on your savings, and look at how other investments might give you a better return – for example, some bank accounts are currently paying higher interest than instant access ISAs.
Get a mortgage (or sort out your existing one)
It’s now much easier for contractors to get a mortgage. The introduction of Help to Buy ISAs and contractor-friendly mortgages mean the outlook is pretty bright for first time buyers.
However, if you’re already a homeowner, don’t despair. You can still check your mortgage rate to make sure you’re getting the best deal, and review your insurance to be confident you and your family have enough cover to protect you and them from all eventualities.
Save for retirement
Depending on your age, it might seem too early to start planning for retirement. But it’s really important to think about how long you want to go on working for and work back from there to determine how much you’ll need to put away each year to reach your goal.
It’s not all about saving and investing money now for when you’re older. Make sure you include some fun in the mix to reward yourself for meeting short-term goals otherwise you’ll quickly lose motivation.
The New Year can be a great excuse to step back, plan and get your finances on track. If you want to assess your current situation or plans for this year and beyond, why not speak to our sister company ClearSky Financial Services for some helpful advice?