As I go in to maternity leave number two, and as the New Year approaches, my savings are not as high as I predicted. I plan on making a few changes to accommodate this. If, like me, your 2016 is ending with your finances in a bit of a muddle, then the New Year will be just what you need to get things back in line.
To make the next twelve months of your life a little easier, whatever it is that you need to change financially, take on board a few of these pointers:
Plan out your year
I am not really one for having a day-to-day calendar, but find it really useful having something that documents all birthdays and celebratory dates for the year ahead. This will help you to plan and buy presents in advance, spread the cost, and will give you a great, super-prepared feeling!
Check your policies
Are all your policies and insurances working well for you? Now might be the time to look over them, one at a time, and check that they still cover you accordingly and work to your interests. If not, then you can modify them yourself or have a chat with a financial adviser to make sure that you only pay for what you really need.
Also, have a look at shifting money between your current account and savings account. This could bring in a little more interest.
Set up regular savings
To have more in your savings by the end of the year, try setting up a standing order; sending money to your savings account the same day you get paid. That way you’re less likely to miss it, as it hasn’t sat in your current account long enough for you to even really notice it’s there! You will be pleasantly surprised that, by the end of the year, such savings have added up nicely. It might even pay for next year’s Christmas presents -although that might just be planning ahead a little too far!
Sell, sell, sell
I have a lot of love for selling on eBay. The Christmas and New Year period is a great time to cleanse your home of anything that you don’t use or need. It may seem brutal, but even unwanted gifts can be sold on eBay to bring you in a little extra money (just don’t tell the person who gave it to you).
Pay in bulk
My littlun goes to a few classes each week in term-time and each have the option to pay up front. In the short term, it can feel like you’ve just spent a packet on them, but when you don’t have to hand over money each week, it feels like you’re getting the classes for free! Also, knowing that those classes are paid for and sorted, means one less thing on your busy mind.
No matter how badly your finances need pulling in line, making a few little changes here and there could make a big difference!