If you’re feeling the financial pinch after Christmas, then the new year is the perfect time to take charge of your spending.
If you’re heading straight into January with saving goals in mind and a firm resolution to get better at budgeting, these tips from Novuna Personal Finance will help to get your finances back on track after the festive season.
1. Get ready to achieve your goals
What are your dreams for the next twelve months? 39% of people resolve to save more money in the new year, but we know that isn’t always as easy as it seems. Whether you’re one of the 15% of people who vow to take up a new hobby or the 14% of people who set a New Year’s resolution to decorate or renovate their home, a personal loan could help you to realise your ambitions.
If you don’t quite have the ready cash to buy a new car or book your first family holiday, you don’t have to give up on your goals. Take out a low interest loan and pay it back in fixed-rate monthly instalments instead.
To find out estimated monthly repayment costs, check out our loan calculator.
2. Refresh your budget
Let’s face it, we’re likely to face a significant increase in household costs this year thanks to ongoing cost of living challenges. So it’s important you update last year’s budget to reflect potential changes in order to keep your spending on track.
Small increases, from a hike in gym membership prices to more expensive shopping bills, all mount up and need accounting for.
Take the opportunity to review your household budget in the new year to give you a more accurate idea of what disposable income you’ll have each month.
3. Pick up a bargain in the January sales
If Santa didn’t bring you everything you were looking for over Christmas, treat yourself to a thing or two in the January sales.
Loads of retailers offer fantastic deals to get the year started in style, from the latest mobile phones to deals on broadband and much more. If you missed out on bagging a bargain in the Black Friday sales, set aside some time to browse January offers instead.
4. Audit your outgoings
Small savings can make a big difference. Have a look at where you can make little spending cuts. Do you really need that extra streaming service? It’s all too easy to sign up to recurring fees, memberships and subscriptions so it’s a good idea to review your direct debits from time to time. Analyse which subscriptions you could do without, or whether you could make savings by shopping around elsewhere.
Go one step further with this top saving tip: if you do decide to cancel a few direct debits, pop the money into your savings account each month. This way, the money will be put aside instead of swept away in day-to-day outgoings.
5. De-clutter... but don't throw away!
We all end up with things we don’t want or need hidden away at the back of wardrobes. A new year is a new start, so set aside an afternoon to de-clutter your home.
Before you reach for the bin bags, consider selling your unwanted items to earn a bit of extra cash. Online platforms such as eBay and Vinted are a great place to start. Look out for sites with low to no listing or selling fees so you get to keep most of the profits!
6. Organise your repayments
Use the new year as a great excuse to review your debts, such as credit card debt or small loans. Write down all your existing debts along with their respective interest rate and term length. Prioritise paying off the ones with the highest APR — particularly credit card debt, if you don’t have any 0% offers.
With the average credit card APR being around 22.2%, even the most modest balance could still cost you more in the long run.
If you end up feeling overwhelmed prioritising where and when to make payments, using a personal loan to consolidate your debts can help you organise your finances. Use the single loan to pay off all your existing debt and you’ll only have one payment to make each month, and one loan to worry about. You could even end up paying a lower interest rate — particularly if you have a good credit history.
7. Set yourself a saving challenge
Christmas might only just be over, but it’s time to start saving for next year! Put saving plans in place for the year ahead and you might not suffer the festive hangover this time next year.
If you’re looking for a New Year savings challenge, the ‘penny a day’ challenge could be right up your street. Simply save 1p on day one, 2p the next, 3p the day after and so on — by the end of the year, you’ll have saved over £650 without really thinking about it.
You could take this one step further and try the 52 week challenge. Put aside £1 in week one, £2 in week two and continue until you end up saving £52 in the last week of the year. All in all, you’ll have an extra £1,378 saved up and ready to spend.
Sophie Venner is a Yorkshire-based content writer specialising in crafting content for the financial services industry. She’s written over 300 articles on finance, but she’s covered everything from insurance to digital marketing trends. Her content has been featured in the likes of Semrush, Digital Marketing Magazine and Insurance Business. In her spare time, you won’t find Sophie far from a notepad and pen as she squirrels away trying to write a novel.
Friday 30th December 2022