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If 2020 is your year to finally live up to your financial resolutions and start making your money work for you, then the way to begin is by making sure you’re tracking your spending properly and making savings on your everyday expenses. Although drawing up a specific savings budget and going hard towards a particular money goal is a great idea, you can complement this strategy by revisiting your monthly and weekly smaller expenses and making sure you’re getting the best possible deals on those as well. So get tracking for an accurate picture of your monthly spends and a plan for how to save more money and live the life you want in the new year.
Diarise Your Statements
Now that most of our banking is online and many of us do not receive bank statements in the post it’s all too easy to go a long time without really knowing what your expenses are. So make time in your calendar as a recurring appointment to take a look through your accounts and identify where your money is actually going. Get a sense of your cash flow – what comes into your account, times where you seem to spend a lot more, and when your balance gets low.
Streamline Your Expenses
Once you have a clearer picture of your monthly patterns, it’s time to revisit some of your non-negotiable monthly expenses. You aren’t aiming to eliminate them – but you are aiming to get the costs down on things that you must be. This means using price comparison sites to get the best deals you can on your utilities, finding the lowest costs on car and cheap van insurance, renegotiating your broadband costs or shopping around for mortgage deals. Loyalty usually doesn’t pay – most firms reserve the best deals for new customers, so if you let things auto-renew, you’re unlikely to be on the best deal you could be. Luckily, all the online comparison tools we have access to these days make it easier than ever to compare and switch. Diarise an appointment for your next renewal day in a year’s time and rinse and repeat.
Use a Budgeting App
Money management apps are a really useful tool for helping you keep a daily handle on your expenses and move money around your accounts on the go. Some apps like Moneybox will work to let you manage savings and investments from your smartphone and even to round up card payments so the difference goes into your investment account – you can choose from some simplified risk profiles. Other apps like Plum will connect to your account and message you updates on the state of your account and prompt you where you can make savings.
Find Space To Change
With all this financial knowledge at your fingertips, it will be much easier to make smarter money decisions – things like identifying savings that you can make on things you don’t need to buy, creating and keeping a financial planner or taking on a side job to boost your income. Taking back financial control really can be as easy as that!