After a tumultuous 2020, to say the least, it’s now more important than ever to stay vigilant, stay safe and monitor your finances this year. We’ve put together five of our top tips to help you make the most out of your money, without setting yourself up for a stressful year ahead.
Tip #1 – Be realistic about your spending habits
There’s not really any other time of the year that our spending habits are exposed as obviously as Christmas time, Easter, birthdays and other celebrations. Everything is set up for you to spend money and max out your credit card – after all, it’s the season of giving. While most of us love to splurge and make those close to us happy during, we need to stay in control.
Whether you simply buy too much or impulse buy the first gifts you see, you need to take charge of your spending habits. The best way to do this is to plan ahead of time and put money aside beforehand. Cover your essential spending first, set aside some savings, and then any leftover can go towards gifts – guilt-free!
Tip #2 – Set and stick to a budget
Once you’ve established your spending habits, expectations and requirements, you need a solid plan to stick to them. No matter which way you approach it, it always comes down to some form of a budget. Work out how much you want to spend (be realistic) and then work on staying organised and accountable. Try communicating your budget to family or a loved one; this will help you stay on track.
Of course, it can be easy to get caught up in the excitement and pressure spending for these events – so it’s essential to keep track of your budget and spending goals. Use a budgeting app, Excel or even a paper and pen – what you use doesn’t matter as long as it’s useful for you.
Tip #3 – Don’t rush, take it slow
Whether it’s Christmas, New Years, upcoming birthdays or other things, starting your preparations ahead of time is one of the primary keys of success. While you may have missed the preparation period this last year, especially with the pressures of COVID, instead of ‘panic-buying’ all your food and gifts – start early! Some people even begin preparing for such things, months ahead of time. Split your spend over multiple paychecks to reduce the financial pressures on a single period.
Tip #4 – Take stock frequently
Even if you have a solid plan in place, you need to regularly check-in and see how you’re tracking. Sit down every few days and take an in-depth look at your finances. It’s hard, and you might not want to do it, but your future self will thank you for it. You’ll have an accurate idea of your spending and know if you need to make any adjustments along the way. Nothing worse than coming up short with money before payday comes around!
Tip #5 – Save, save, save
The best tip we can give you is to start saving today. This can understandably be difficult for many, but this foresight will surely pay off in the year to come. If you underspend each month, put the leftover amount straight into your savings. If your employer offers Paytime, consider placing a portion of your earned wages directly into your savings on a weekly or monthly basis, or paying off a part of any debt accumulated such a credit card; Buy Now Pay Later debt; and even making bigger contributions to your mortgage repayments, as soon as possible.
If accessing your earned wages before your regular payday sounds like a helpful solution for your personal financial wellbeing, put your employer in touch with Paytime today to arrange a free consultation.