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Re-evaluating your finances in January

January 3, 2016

finance

 

So the Christmas tree and decorations are down, you have cleared away all that drink from new year, well what is left of it anyway (!) and made your new years resolutions… then the credit card bill comes in! Panic!

Did you really need to buy all that? Did you treat yourself too much? Maybe it is time to re-think your finances.

Tighten Your Belt via Kenteegardin

January is the perfect time to look at your finances and reorganise your bank accounts. But where to start – with a budget.

Make a list…
Sit down with your bank statements and work out what all your bills are when it all comes out. Include everything from the high importance things like your mortgage/rent, council tax, motor insurance etc, to the smaller things like your mobile phone contract and your DVD rental.

…check it twice
Once you have written down what  is coming out, how much and when it will come out, you need to workout if you can afford it all on your income. If you can’t afford it all, cut out what you don’t need and shop around for a cheaper deal on those things you can’t do without. Then once you have done all that, see what you have left. Work out what you need on a daily basis and what you want to save.

Now, give yourself a pat on the back! It’s never nice to do a budget but you will feel cleansed and ready to start the new year afresh once you know what money you do have.

Streamline your bank accounts
The next job is to re-evaluate your bank accounts. You need to work out which accounts aren’t working for you and which you simply don’t need any more. Do you have savings accounts which just have peanuts in them – get rid! Look at all your credit cards and shop cards, yes all of them, and decide what you will and won’t use. There is no point in lowering your credit rating on having too many cards you just aren’t using any more.

Then look to see if there is another current account or savings account which is giving you more benefits or interest, it is always best to check you have the best deal out there.

Sensible shopping
Finally, start practising some new shopping techniques. Try the two week rule, as recommended by Career-Success-for-Newbies.com. The rule is designed to stop you from buying unnecessary impulse buys. The idea is that if you see something you want to buy, wait two weeks and if you are still really keen to get it, then go for it, treat yourself, if not then think of the money you’ve saved! Other ideas are shopping with a list or a time restriction to stop you buying things you don’t need.

Get a helping hand
It’s important to maintain a healthy personal wealth management as you need to ensure you are not over spending and saving where you can, especially in these tough times. There are great online tools for managing your personal finances and even more support if you are struggling. The main idea is to live within your means and treat yourself every so often!

Have you thought about reorganising your finances after the festive period? What are you going to do to save the pennies? Tell us in the comments below.

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