The New Year is synonymous with starting fresh, and many people take that as meaning a new start with their health, their love life, and their finances. In terms of the finances, while “win the lottery” might seem to be a sound solution, it’s only going to happen to a few people and it’s not generally seen as a sound financial plan. In the absence of being either a lottery winner or financially secure with a team of accountants doing the work for you, it makes sense to have a sound plan for the year ahead, just as it does to review how well your plan did. So how do you start doing that?
No one ever got anywhere without a plan, and that includes your financial lifestyle too, and this is the first place to start at the beginning of the year. Whether you are saving, investing, or simply trying to take control of your finances, a plan is essential. Before starting a plan it’s always worth seeking financial advice or working out your income and expenditure. Once you have done that, you can start to plan the way forward.
If you’re making investments or savings, you need to decide what your limit is and stick to it. You should break it down by month or year-quarter so that you can map what you intend to spend over the year against what you actually spend on a monthly basis.
If you are budgeting for the next year, it is even more important that you take account of all of your income and expenditure. The first thing that you need to do is segregate the payments that you absolutely must make such as mortgage or rent, and utility payments, then down to household bills and food, and fuel for vehicles. Once you have subtracted these items from your net income, what you have left is all you have to manoeuvre with and can plan to use. If you review this money on a monthly basis, you will be well on the way to controlling your finances.
The New Year is also a good time to review your utility suppliers and look for better deals. You should make it a goal to review and change the suppliers of your gas and electricity suppliers regularly, but also consider other suppliers such as mobile-phone, cable or satellite, and internet suppliers too. These companies regularly cite special deals for new customers which can mean major savings when spread out over a year, and regulations are making it easier to switch companies for all of these services.
But there is no need to stop there either. You should make it a goal to completely review your spending and to search for better potential deals on all manner of insurance policies too; whether it’s home, vehicle, medical and dental, there are great deals to be had.
If you plan your finances along these lines at the beginning of the year, you may be amazed at the savings you make by the end of it.
About the author:
This article was written on behalf of Ark Finance. Ark Finance are expert financial advisors and accountants serving businesses in Kildare, Dublin and throughout Leinster.