New Year Resolution: Get Your Finances in Shape for 2012

Written by Karen Bryan

Next Year Resolution:No more excuses, 2012 is going to be the year that you take control of your finances. It seems that many people are afraid and/or just can’t be bothered to get to grips with their money.  You need to master your money or you could end up being a slave to it. For me, money is a tool which I use to live the life I want. Here are five steps to help you succeed in your New Year resolution to get your finances in shape.

  1. Work Out a BudgetMaking a budget is the foundation of personal finance. You need to know exactly how much money is coming in and going out every month.
  2. Build Up an Emergency Fund –  If you don’t have an emergency fund it can be all too easy to get into debt, e.g. if you need to quickly replace a broken household appliance, have a big repair bill on your car, or lose you job.
  3. Decide What You Want From Life – You need to ask yourself what you want from life? What are your priorities, as I’m not sure you can have it all (at the same time), and, most importantly,  what makes you happy?
  4. Shop Around for the Best Deals – This is going to take some time and effort but can save money. I’ve seen differences of up to £400 in home and car insurance quotes.  The simplest way is to use an insurance price comparison site. Food takes up a high proportion of spending. You can save on food by shopping online through MySupermarket. Check out cashback sites such as Pouring Pounds before you make any purchases.
  5. Take Our Cut Your Spending by 10% Challenge – Take our challenge to cut spending and if you can live below your means, i.e. you have more money coming in than going out, you can start saving up to achieve your financial goals.