For getting ready to ring in the new your I have written you TWO blog posts all about how to prepare for a new year, set your goals and actually SMASH them. You can (and should!) read them here and here. If the thoughts of setting up big, year-long goals seems intimidating to you or you want to up your game by adding some more challenges into the mix, I have created a list of easy personal finance and money goals that anyone can achieve and will elevate your situation.
All of these personal finance goals are easy to complete and most of them can be done in under an hour.
Without further ado, let’s get stuck in:
Easy Money Goal #1
Ring all of your utility providers (such as electricity, gas, internet, phone, TV and insurances) and ask for:
- A discount on the amount you are paying or
- If they have any special offers that will reduce the total amount you are paying (beware of special offers where the price increase after an introductory period) or
- To reduce your package to decrease the total cost of your bill or
- Cancel your service if you no longer need it
Set up a Direct Debit or Standing Order for all of your bills, regular savings and transfers. This will automate these actions, taking the decision out of your hands each month and increasing your adherence meeting all of these commitments.
Review all of your current subscriptions and cancel any that are either unused or just not worth the money.
Set a date with yourself and conduct a regular budget review. Start with once a week for a month and then stretch it to once a month for three months. The purpose for this review is to see what your ACTUAL spending is versus your planned spending. Where it is that you are struggling? What are the areas where you are deviating from your plan?
Simplify your purse by making all of your loyalty cards digital using the Stocard app. Read more about Stocard here.
Set you sinking funds for the year. Start by making a list of sinking funds you need, estimate the total amount needed for each fund, calculate how much you need to save and set up automated payments for each one. Read my post about sinking funds here.
Increase your pension contribution. No explanation needed.
Increase your current savings rate by a marginal amount or %. If you are currently saving 10% of your income for example trying by increasing to 11% for 6 months, and then to 12% after that. You’ll barely feel it!
Commit to doing your tax return by the end of Q1 2020 or as soon as your receive your P60. Make a plan for any amount of a rebate that you receive to either go towards savings or debt.
Commit to saving or putting towards debt any unexpected money your receive during the course of the year for example tax rebate, birthday money, overtime pay or a pay increase.
Label all of your savings accounts with the name of your savings goal. For example, if you are saving to go to Rome in September 2020, rename that account to “Rome Sept 2020” so your savings has a specific purpose. This will help to make it feel tangible and real.
This might seem really obvious but YOU NEED A BUDGET. Set a budget either written or typed. You can start really basic is you need to, just a category for income, essential bills, debt payments, savings and then an ‘everything else’ category, but this is a must-do habit. It doesn’t matter how much money you make, or how much savings you have, everyone and I mean everyone needs a budget.
Commit to cutting down on one small ‘luxury’ item and save the difference or put it towards debt. For example, if you get your nails done twice a month, reduce this to 3 times every 2 months.
Track your spending. Write or type ALL of your spending for a period of time. I usually suggest around 8-12 weeks. Even if you do this one item alone, like keeping a food diary or a time diary, it is illuminating to see all the areas you are spending your money and how much money you are spending on different areas. This can be a real catalyst for change.
So there you have it, 15 easy money goals that are manageable and can be completed in a short amount of time. Challenge yourself to complete some or all of challenges. If you want to dig deeper into upgrading your personal finances, read about our coaching services here.