It’s that time of year again. You know how it goes: kick a bad habit, cut out alcohol, lose weight, quit social media, and give them all up by February.
But why not think about some financial changes you can make in the new year? Setting financial goals can help you to save money, increase your financial security and feel more in control.
And with a lot of apps and technology out there, it’s easy to automate the process and actually stick to your goals.
Here are some ideas for 2022.
Knowing where your money goes can help you get in control of your finances, be smarter with your spendings and understand where you can cut back. Find our guide on how to create a budget here, and discover the best budgeting style for you.
This Budget Calculator from Natwest helps you to calculate your income and outgoings across different categories, and only takes a few minutes to complete.
We know that budgets can be tricky to stick to, but there a loads of tools available that make it easier by providing you with spending analytics and notifications when you’re nearing your limit in different categories.
These are some of our favourite budgeting apps:
Getting into the habit of paying all your bills on time will help you manage your money better and remove the stress that comes with owing money.
It might help to write down the deadlines on a calendar or put reminders in a phone.
Try to get into the habit of having all the money put to one side a few days before the due date so that you know you can definitely meet the deadline. This will also give you time to get in touch with your creditor if you think you won’t be able to meet the payment - don't hesitate to do this as they normally have structures in place to help you.
There are lots of great reasons to pay off debt, less stress, more financial freedom and a better credit score being just a few.
If you can’t pay afford to pay off a debt in one go, most creditors and debt resolution agencies offer the option of payment plans - even if it means just paying a little bit each month, taking control of your debt could be one of the most rewarding things you do this year.
If you have multiple debts, it might pay off to tackle them in a specific order - find out more in our blog here.
If you are really struggling financially, why not make 2022 the year to seek free debt advice?
Most people will experience a financial shock such as a car breakdown or a medical emergency at some point in their lives, so it’s a really good idea to have some money put by.
An emergency fund will mean that unforeseen expenses won’t break the bank or send you into debt.
You can create one by putting by any savings you already have or by allocating a certain amount of your budget towards creating a fund.
Setting a savings goal is a great way to watch your savings grow and make sure your money goes towards really meaningful things.
When working out how much you can put into savings each month, remember to cover your priority spendings first - these are the essentials such as food, water, housing, debt repayments and bills. You can find more information on priority spendings and the various consequences of not paying them here.
It’s also a good idea to build up for an emergency fund before saving up for anything else. Once you’ve covered priorities and emergencies, decide what you want to save up for and set a goal amount.
This Savings Calculator from Money Helper might help you to understand how much you need to save each month and how long it’ll take.