Debt and economic damage has been racked up this year as coronavirus wreaked havoc on people’s incomes and employment. According to recent analysis from money.co.uk, the average amount of debt per person reached £9,246 by the end of 2020, which puts the upcoming year on unsteady footing.
“Making your finances visible by using a money spreadsheet is a great place to start. Once it is clear where your money is going you will start to be able to make changes and become more mindful with your money as we head into 2021.”
Rachel and Claro went on to provide four key tips for savers to utilise and benefit from:
Make your spending visible
Many could be tempted to simply ignore their financial problems and hope they go away but just like many elements of life, handling difficulties as soon as possible could pay dividends in the long run: “We get it, looking at your finances is scary, however making sure you have eyes over your money is the first step to making good choices in the new year.
“The first thing we recommend is making a monthly spending spreadsheet with regular outgoings such as bills, along with things like trips to the hairdressers, weekly food shops and the cost of filling up the car clearly laid out. A selected amount of money put aside for savings should also fall into the ‘Essentials’ section.
“Whether you are putting aside £20 or £200 a month it all adds up! After the essentials are laid out you should be able to clearly see what you have left for treats, such as nights out with friends, a new pair of trainers or whatever your heart desires. Allow yourself to spend – just make sure you know how much you have to splurge.”
Set up banking notifications and clear that credit
Rachel went on to address actual banking and financial concerns in her next set of tips: “Looking for a simple way to keep an eye on the pennies after all that Christmas spending? Set up notifications from your banking app. This is a quick and easy way to keep track of every time you spend on your card, turning those unconscious purchases into money making decisions you are aware of.
“Whatever your 2021 goals, whether it’s a holiday (once we can finally travel again), a new house or just simply to improve your financial situation, clearing any unsecured higher interest debt, such as that from a credit card, is an important place to start.
“Set a goal as to which month of 2021 or even 2022 you aim to have that debt paid off by and then work towards it. Once this debt is cleared you can start to make some serious saving targets and look into making your money grow further. “
Become a bargain hunter
Of course, how much money we have is largely dependent on how much we spend and Rachel’s final tip encouraged a bit of frugalness: “Do you have a taste for the finer things in life? Us too, but they do end up hindering our savings goals if they go unchecked.
“And often, you’ll find you’re inadvertently spending luxury prices on everyday things.
“In 2021 make some simple changes to your everyday spending habits. Look at ways to reduce the spend on the weekly food shop by shopping in a cheaper supermarket or skip weekly takeaways to start tightening the purse strings.
“Track all these savings in your monthly money spreadsheet to learn how they are having an impact on your finances.”