We can all agree that 2020 has been unlike any other year that many of us can remember or would have ever lived through.
With the added pressure of being locked down, it’s likely to pull at your purse strings more than ever.
However, there are a number of things you can do to improve your financial situation.
Set aside a few minutes to complete these tasks that can lead to big financial results. Some of them are very quick wins, some of them may take a little bit of time – but all of them are very worthwhile and would go a long way to improve your finances.
So, let’s get started.
12 Ways to Improve Your Finances this New Year
1. Jump-Start Your Finances with the Power of Gratitude
It’s time to indulge our inner Oprah and talk about the power of gratitude because living with gratitude can lead to greater wealth.
Yes, really! Study upon study has shown that those who regularly acknowledge and give thanks for their lot are able to achieve greater wealth, both financially and spiritually.
So how exactly DO you practice gratitude?
Here are four ways that you can start practicing gratitude today:
- Every day find something or somebody to be grateful for and say ‘thank you’ out loud. This can be done on your own or shared with family.
- Give at least one compliment every day, but make sure it is genuine and be as specific as possible. The other person will feel valued and you will have created a connection.
- Every day, for the next week, find one thing that is less than ideal and look for something you can learn from the experience.
- Keep a gratitude journal and write down 3 things you are grateful for each day and make it a goal to write in your gratitude journal every single day.
2. Develop a Positive Money Attitude
Tell yourself on a daily basis how good you are with money. Repeat after me “I am a good money manager and I manage my money effectively.
I am a good money manager and I manage my money wisely.” Keep it on repeat all day long!
I know it might feel a little strange to think or say, however changing your thoughts and building confidence and abundance around your finances is VITAL to inviting more wealth and success into your life.
Are there certain affirmations and mantras you use to maintain a positive state? Repeat them often and watch how your life changes.
3. Clean Out Your Wallet
Take out 10 minutes out of your busy to clean up your wallet.
- Take out everything from your wallet.
- Get rid of those old receipts, used and expired gift cards, notes and other items that clog up your wallet.
- Organise your wallet, straighten all crumbled notes and arrange them neatly in your wallet.
- Keep unused credit cards at home and place one or two cards you use frequently back in your purse.
- Remove and cancel credit cards that you don’t use or need.
How does it feel to have a clean and free wallet?
4. Pay Yourself First
The best personal finance advice every woman should know is to pay yourself first.
In a nutshell this means when your salary comes in, make it a priority to send some money to your savings or investment account and automate the payment.
If you can do this, you can become a saver rather than a spender, thus significantly improving your financial situation.
Even a small amount set aside each month can really add up. If you set up a direct debit for just £10 a week in January – by the end of the year you will have £480, enough to pay for next Christmas (or a lovely weekend away) without putting it on the credit card.
Start today! Set up a separate savings or investment account online and put an initial deposit as soon as possible. You can start with as little as £1.
On payday, think self-pay first, whatever you can afford, then the essentials, then your play money.
It doesn’t matter if your self-pay is a tiny amount, what matters is that you’re setting it aside each month, and investing the money saved.
5. Set Weekly or Monthly Money Goals
Setting financial goals is essential to financial success. Once you’ve set these goals, write and follow a roadmap to realise them. It helps you stay focused and confident that you’re on the right path to financial success.
Set your timer for 10 minutes and write out your own money goals using this money planner.
Realising your financial goals can be a long and drawn out process. But writing them out is in itself an achievement, so when you’ve done it you are justified in congratulating yourself.
Once you’ve set your goal, or goals, it’s important to review then often. If you don’t, then you could find yourself taking a step backwards.
6. Simplify Your Finances
Being more financially secure and confident is not always about earning more money, or getting a windfall.
It’s not about what you earn, it’s about what you keep. Managing your money well means you can get by with less and more options may become available to you.
You aren’t really going to get rid of all your worldly possessions, go and live in a cave and never treat yourself to a double mocha frappucino again. That would be unrealistic.
But you can make small changes, such as getting rid of unnecessary subscriptions, organising your monthly payments, opting for a homemade coffee or lunch on some days or switching your energy supplier.
You’ll be really amazed at how subtle changes can boost your finances. So don’t stop buying food, or paying the gas bill – just try and skim off the stuff you really don’t need.
People often think that being careful with money impinges on their sense of freedom, whereas in reality it’s the opposite: being in control of your money provides freedom.
7. Review All Bank Accounts and Your Direct Debits
Scary fact: us Brits spend around £40 in monthly direct debits for products and services we DON’T USE (totalling £30,000 over a lifetime).
From dating app subscriptions to gym memberships, there’s always something lurking in your direct debits that you can get rid of.
Cancel and save. Many of us have direct debits and standing orders that we didn’t know we had.
The main offenders are for magazine subscriptions, insurance for white goods or other items you may not have any more and rolling gym or club subscriptions.
Take a good look at your payments then cancel everything you are paying for that you don’t need or use.
Again, re-direct that amount – however small – to your savings or investment account. If you didn’t notice it leaving your account before, you won’t notice it plumping up your savings….
8. Start a £2 Savings Jar
Having a piggy bank might seem a bit more in keeping with a five-year-old’s outlook on money, but the average household can have a massive £530 hanging around in small change.
Put any spare change you find into a savings jar. You can even give yourself a theme to make it bit more interesting, such as a ‘£2 Coin Pot’.
Whenever you come across a £2 coin (rarer than £1 coins), put it in your £2 Pot. Carry on like this for a year and you could have over £350 saved.
9. Take on 52-week Money Saving Challenge
If you are brave enough, why not why not set yourself a challenge.
Set aside £1 on Monday, £2 on Tuesday, £3 on Wednesday, and so on up to £7 on Sunday and start over again the following week.
Keep on like this for a year and you could have nearly £1,500 saved.
10. Try a No Spend Challenge
Try a “No-Spend Challenge”. What the heck is a No-Spend Challenge?
It is where you set yourself the challenge of spending nothing on certain superfluous things for a week, a weekend, or a month.
Remember to check out your bank balance at the end of the challenge – you’ll be amazed by how much you saved.
11. Say NO to Impulse Buying this Month
The best way to avoid making poor money decisions is to wait a day before doing so.
When you find yourself considering a significant purchase, investment, or other financial expenditure, walk away and get out your notebook.
Make two columns – one “Pros” and one “Cons” – assigning everything you can think of about your potential decision to one of the columns. Be sure to include emotional comments like how it makes you feel.
The following day, review your list. You’ll gain insight into what your motivation is and be better equipped to determine whether or not you’re making a financial choice from an emotional place.
12. Allocate some “Me Time”
Between work, housework, and family commitments, there’s often little time left over.
But this year make a commitment to invest in yourself by finding regular “me time”, even if it is just for an hour a week, so that you can grow personally, professionally, and financially throughout the year.
You could use this time in multiple ways — including learning something new, upgrading your skills, reading, mediating or taking up a hobby— and it’s a self-reminder that you are an individual, whose interests are worth investing in.
You won’t attain financial success by just reading this article, nodding sagely and continuing as normal. You need to take action to see results. There is no substitute for ACTION.
Are you ready to achieve your goals this YEAR!?
You CAN achieve your money goals. All you need is clarity and a step-by-step guide to help you stay focused and reach your goals.
If you need a plan to accomplish your money goals, the Money Nuggets Financial Success planner will help you set clear and specific goals you can actually achieve. Click here to check it out.