Financial New Year’s Resolutions from Foresters Friendly Society

Thursday, December 12, 2013

It's time to put the festive frivolities behind us!  You may have over-indulged, eaten a little too much and had a drink (or two) too many, but rather than confronting your feelings of guilt and ill-health by undertaking a number of usually short-lived New Year's resolutions, Foresters Friendly Society suggests embarking on a number of financially focused resolutions that will be of longer-term benefit both to you and your family.

  • Become more financially aware

Instead of browsing Facebook or scouring YouTube, spend ten minutes each day reading the business news and the personal finance pages of the national newspapers. An understanding of financial products is of real benefit - for example, looking beyond a high street bank for savings gives you more competitive options and could help to make you more financially secure. A better awareness of the options available will also help when it comes to renewing things such as insurance.

  • Start saving for the future

The simple fact is the sooner you begin saving, the more you will have when it comes to retirement. Foresters Friendly Society offers a range of mid to long-term tax-efficient savings plans such as a Stocks & Shares ISA or the Tax Exempt Savings Plan, both of which allow savers to put away a little and often.

Tax rules may change and will depend on your individual circumstances.  You may not get back the full amount invested in the Stocks & Shares ISA depending on the conditions at withdrawal.

  • Organise your savings and investments

For those further down the career path and who have worked at more than one company, it's quite possible you will have a number of pension plans scattered amongst previous employers. It's important to not lose sight of each of these savings pots as collectively it may be add up to a good sized sum towards your retirement.

  • Keep a diary of expenses

Keeping a diary of all your outgoings is an easy way of staying on top of your household budget and cutting out unnecessary costs. Your diary should include:

  • A review of monthly bills - make sure you only pay for what you use. This applies for monthly television bills or bank charges;
  • Shopping lists - we each throw-out £500 of food each year*. Make a list to avoid unnecessary purchases and try not to be swayed by the 'buy one get one free' offers;
  • Ad-hoc expenditure - the cost of that daily take-away coffee will become apparent if you keep a note of it.
  • Get out of debt

Credit cards are a convenient way of paying for goods but the interest charges are expensive so it's important to clear the balance each month. If you can't manage this, it may be worth considering other low cost loan options.

There are many options to consider when setting your financial New Year's resolutions, but by investing a small amount of time you could start the New Year on a positive note.

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