Whether it’s running a marathon, saving your entire ISA allowance for the year or breaking a world record, we’ve all had those 'New Year, New Me' resolutions that, a couple of days in, seem to just fall by the wayside ready to be picked up again next January. But just because you’re not paying over £1,600 into your ISA every month (the amount that you would need to put in to hit that £20,000 allowance) doesn’t mean there aren’t steps you can take to improve your money management skills this year.
Likewise, if your spending went a little overboard this Christmas (hey, it’s the season of giving after all!) now is the perfect time to start planning how to recover and get your money goals back on track.
So, whether you’re playing catch-up after the holiday season or hoping to make your money go further this year, we’ve set out seven simple steps you can take to make sure 2020 is your most financially fulfilled year yet!
The first thing to do when recalibrating your money is to take a look at how much you were spending – and on what – last year, and see if you can make any cut-backs or changes. If you’re using Yolt already, this is as easy as going through your categories and identifying where you might be able to spend a little less. If you’re not using Yolt yet, now’s the time to start so that you can get a clear picture of where your money is really going, and where you can cut back.
You can set yourself an overall budget to see you through the month, as well as specific budgets in your categories. Hoping to cut down on how much you eat out or how much you spend on shopping? Take control of it all from your Yolt app.
Clear out all those old subscriptions
We all have those little subscriptions and things that we’re signed up to that we no longer use, but that continue to chip away at our income. In your Yolt Actions tab, you can check up on any regular payments you’re making in the Track bills function, so you can see what outdated subscriptions you can cut. Did you download an app that you haven’t used in months but are still paying for? Get rid! Still paying for that gym membership from last year’s round of resolutions? It’s all about being financially fit this year instead.
Switch and save
Check you’re getting the best deal for your broadband, mobile, energy, insurance and loans. If you’re not, switch to a better rate right in the Yolt app. Head to Savings tab and start comparing.
Now that you’ve done a bit of a spruce-up of your budget, you’ll have hopefully found a few spare pounds to put aside every month into a savings account. Remember, even a little can make a big difference when it comes to saving, so long as you get into a good habit of putting your money away regularly. Make your savings a priority each month, and pay yourself into a separate savings account at the same time that you pay all of your bills, like rent and phone.
Why not check out our in-app partner Raisin to find a savings account with a good interest rate that works for you? Or top up your savings with a round-up pot in in your current account, if you have one. That way you can save without even noticing!
Make those savings work harder
A high-interest savings account can be an excellent way of topping up your savings if you’re trying to reach a shorter-term goal (like saving for a wedding or house deposit), but in the long-term putting all of your money into a savings account can have drawbacks, as you risk your money becoming worth less if the inflation rate goes up.
If you’re setting up an account for the long-term, you might want to take a look at our in-app partners Wealthify. They’re an investment platform where all you have to do is set your risk level, and they take care of the rest.
While investments into stocks and shares ISAs and General Investment Accounts can be a good option, as over time they can offer greater returns than simply relying on interest, it’s still important to remember that when investing, your capital is at risk.
Get your pension in order
Have you *always* meant to get your pension sorted, but somehow you’ve just never gotten around to it? Make one of your resolutions this year to know exactly where you stand with your pension contributions – and our in-app partners PensionBee are here to let you do just that.
PensionBee is an online pension manager that brings old pensions together into one new pot with a clear balance, so you’ll know exactly where you’re at when it comes to your retirement savings. Find them in your Actions tab in your Yolt app.
Not sure why having a pension is so important? Check out this blog to find out why right now is the right time to get your savings started.
Get yourself a good deal
Is one of your money goals to cut back on unnecessary spending? Why not check if you could you be paying less for your energy supplier? Our in-app partner MoneySuperMarket offers a comparison service so that you can see if you could be paying less on your energy bills. Take a look in your Yolt Actions tab.
Get the right tools to manage your money
Got to the bottom of this article and still don’t have a Yolt account? What are you waiting for? Download the app now to start getting a 2020 view of your money.
Got any questions or ideas on how other Yolt users can make their money go further this year? Drop us a line at firstname.lastname@example.org
At Yolt, we’re on a mission to empower you with your money, but our blog is not official financial or professional advice. If you're looking for more information on credit cards or debt help and consolidation, seek independent financial advice.