With Christmas over and 2013 ahead, it’s time to start taking a look at your finances for the next 12 months. Most of us will have spent quite a lot of money over the festive period, and it’s important to make sure that everything is back in order. With this in mind, here are a few tips to make sure that January is the start of a financially responsible year.
Settle debts. A lot of people will have made credit card purchases, or bought presents with a variety of finance options. If you can pay these off quickly, you can save a considerable amount in interest. This might mean cutting back for a few weeks or months, but it’s a small price to pay to be free of hefty interest charges by summertime. Always take into account any early settlement fees that you might have to pay. If you have a several credit cards, store cards or personal loans to pay off then a secured homeowner loan could be useful. It should however be remembered that consolidating debt may increase the amount you pay back overall and extend the repayment period for your debts.
Save for next Christmas. Nobody really wants to have to start thinking about buying presents for next year, but if you can start to save a little bit early, then you’ll find things a lot easier when December comes back around. Even a very small amount that you might not even notice will be useful at the end of the year.
Plan your finances. It’s always good to have a plan, especially when it comes to your finances. There isn’t really such a thing as over-planning either, so the more comprehensive it is the better. If you can work out your income and outgoings for the next 12 months, you’ll be able to find out how much money you’ve got for luxuries. It’s much better to live within your means and know you’re doing so.
Save on expenditure. There are many ways in which you can save money throughout the year, from going out less to comparing shopping online. January could be a great time to make sure that you’re getting a good deal on all of your utilities; you might find that you can save yourself a couple of hundred by switching suppliers.
Check your credit rating. This is a very important part of everyone’s financial lives nowadays, and a New Year’s resolution could be to get yours in order. There are many ways of doing this, from paying off debts, to correcting mistakes on your file.