Set and manage your financial plan for the next year, and come out on top.
There’s no better time to get your house in order than this financial year. A fresh look at your spending, direct debits, or even comparing your insurance, could bring about surprise savings and set you up for success.
So here’s how to get started:
Map out your goals
The first step in your planning is figuring out what you really want to achieve financially in the next year, or even five years. While you may have short term goals (like that dream holiday) you’ll likely also have long terms goals as well, and it’s good to get them in line.
Here’s some handy hints for creating a winning goal:
Rather than simply ‘go on safari’ or ‘buy a car’ you should get specific with the amount you’ll need, and when you want to achieve it by. This will help you know how much you need to save each month to get there.
Put pen to paper:
Putting your goals in writing means they’re not just talk. Writing several goals down can help you focus on which ones mean the most to you.
Goals are dreams that are doable, so make sure that you’re able to make your goals a reality, and put aside the amounts you need to achieve them.
Master your spending
Next, it’s time to look at your spending. Let’s be realistic, spending money is all a part of enjoying life, but a few small changes could get your money working harder for you:
Keep your eye out for deals
No matter what you’re shopping for you can usually find sales, discounts and deals, so it’s smart to take advantage of them. However, they’re there to make you want to shop, so be a savvy shopper rather than getting sucked in by a sale.
Some simple ways to save are:
- Doing your food shopping in the evening, as sales and discounts are often available towards the end of the day.
- Waiting until 2pm to nip out for lunch, not only do you not get caught in the rush, you may find discounts on sandwiches and salads.
- Organising your catch-ups earlier in the week, as many restaurants and cinemas offer cheaper deals or tickets earlier in the week.
- Finding the best day to fill up on petrol, with a handy tracker that shows you when it’s cheaper.
- Keep an eye out for coupons. Coupon providers like Groupon are a great way to enjoy little pleasures, without the price-tag
Delve into your direct debits
How often do you use your gym membership? Could you be doubling up on Netflix costs in your household? These are important questions to ask, because there could be savings hidden in your old direct debits.
Have a think about:
Your gym membership: Have you been putting off going for a while? It may be time to swap the cross-trainer for the great outdoors, and put the membership on hold.
Your phone bill: Have you been on the same contact for over a year? It might be time to negotiate a new deal for your loyalty.
Your subscriptions: it can be easy to accumulate these, but they all add-up. You can make simple savings just by streamlining your subscriptions.
Your bills: While paying by direct debit can help you unlock early-payment discounts, make sure that you cancel any direct debits if you move, or that you no longer need.
Compare your insurance costs: You can also compare your existing health, home and car insurance with what’s in market to make sure that you’re getting the best deal. With ING Home and contents insurance and car insurance, you can get a simple quote to compare your costs online.
Prepare for what’s ahead
Once you’ve freed up some cash with your spending, you can start to build your savings. Setting a savings goal each month that you can afford is a great start, but also try not to dip back into it once it’s set aside.
If you have several different goals for next year, you can set-up a number of different accounts. You can even name them in the app after your goals, so you can see that safari get a little closer each month.
To be prepared just in case of a little unexpected emergency, you could aim to set aside a rainy day fund, and keep your savings safe from any surprise setbacks in the future.
No matter what you want from your finances next year, a plan is going to help put it into action. Once you’ve started, keep track of your wins and you’ll be set for all that life throws at you.
ING does not endorse and is not affiliated with third parties mentioned in this article. ING is not responsible for any services provided by third parties nor does ING accept any liability or responsibility arising in any way from any products or services supplied by the third parties.
Information and interest rates are current as at the date of publication and are subject to change.
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