The new year is so close you can almost taste it – which probably means that you’ve already started planning some of the resolutions that you want to put into place as you head into 2020. For most of us, a new year is a chance to overcome some of our bad habits and replace them with better ones. Sometimes, that will mean using your new year’s resolution to lose weight or eat healthier. Other times, you might decide that you want to quit smoking.
One common resolution that would all benefit from making this year, is deciding to spend less in 2020. If you’re the kind of person who’s constantly worrying about where your money is going, then following money-saving tips could help you to get back on track for the new year.
One of the main reasons why people struggle to save money is that spending cash is so easy in the current landscape. You don’t even need to remember your PIN number anymore, If you’re paying less than £30 for something, you can just flash a card or use your phone to make a contactless payment. While that does make life more convenient at times, it also means that you can spend without thinking about it.
As you head into 2020, make sure that you’re looking for ways to make spending money a bit harder. Take cash wherever you go, rather than cards, so you can stick to the pre-set limit that you’ve already arranged for yourself. Consider removing your payment details from any websites that you tend to use online too, as this will also mean that you need to go and find your details before you can make a purchase.
It’s easy to tell yourself that you’re saving money when you use your emergency savings to buy a car for £200 from a friend, rather than going to a garage. However, if you end up spending thousands of pounds on that vehicle because it’s constantly breaking down, then you’re not really saving anything. Sometimes in life, you need to be willing to pay a little extra for an item that will last you longer – even if that means taking out a personal loan so you can pay back what you owe over time.
In 2020, make sure that you remember that saving money doesn’t have to mean buying the cheapest version of everything. Sometimes, successfully saving cash can be as simple as making sure that you don’t have to buy a replacement too quickly.
Speaking of your car, maybe that’s the thing that’s really draining your finances each month. Most of us spend more than we would care to admit on things like petrol and maintenance. If you find that you’re constantly wasting all of your income on your vehicle, then 2020 could be the year that you create a ride share strategy with some of your friends from work. Arrange for one person on your team to pick everyone up on a certain day of each week. This will save everyone in your group some money.
You can also try using other methods to cut your transport costs too. For instance, you can reduce everyday expenses for traveling to and from local places. Don’t get into your car when you’re just going to the corner shop, ride your bike, or take a walk instead.
If you haven’t been to the citizen’s advice bureau for a while, then you could be missing out on opportunities to access extra sources of financial help. There are solutions out there like universal credit that can make it a lot cheaper to manage your monthly bills like council tax and electricity. All you need to do is fill out a few basic forms to start with.
A lot of people today are missing out on money-saving opportunities because they’re not claiming the benefits that are available to them. Your Citizen’s Advice office will be able to give you an insight into what you can get.
Finally, remember that you might not notice a huge change to your finances as soon as you begin implementing new strategies for saving. It takes time to make a real difference to your cash situation, and you’re likely to still be recovering from Christmas during the months of January and February too. Keep working on your plan, and if you notice that anything isn’t working as well as it should be, consider going back and taking a second look at your strategy.
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