With the coronavirus pandemic throughout 2020 and Christmas, the most expensive time of the year for many households, the first few months of 2021 are expected to be some of the most financially difficult. While it may seem like an overwhelming task, there are manageable steps that can be taken to ensure that your household is in a financially healthy position and that you are proactive as we continue into 2021. Here are some of our top personal finance tips to help you this year.
Get Stricter With Spending
While we all love a treat every now and then, it is crucial to assess your essential and non-essential spending in 2021. Many households’ finances will have been affected as a direct result of the pandemic, so by evaluating all incomings and outgoings, it will be easier to identify and eliminate any problematic spending. This is a great way to save money during the pandemic, ensuring that you have money leftover in case of an emergency and future-proofing your finances after the pandemic is over.
Set A Savings Goal
With the money that you save from your spending evaluation, you can bolster your savings account and take steps towards your savings goal. This should be set for each month, giving you a target to meet and feel proud of. You can also set an overall savings goal with the promise of something like a new car, new kitchen or a holiday, committing to saving a certain amount of money each month to keep a clear focus.
Control Your Credit
In unprecedented times, credit markets can tighten, which means that it can become more difficult for people with bad credit history to take on a mortgage, loan or credit cards. However, you may still be able to access bad credit loans to help you through difficult times and boost your credit score. Loans aside, you should also take the time to ensure that your name is on the electoral roll, your address is correct on all bills, you pay your bills or rent on time, and that you allow for time between each credit application.
There are several tools available to help you shop smarter in 2021, such as cashback apps and websites. These apps and sites offer you a percentage of your spend back, which is usually approved within 30-60 days and can be really handy for the grocery shop. You should also make use of discount and coupon sites to find out how much you could save on your essential spending. While the discount may only be 5%, it is a small step to helping you save throughout the year.
Shop Small And Locally
Doing your weekly shop at the supermarket may be convenient, but browsing your local greengrocer’s and butcher’s may show you better prices for fresher produce. Not only is this a great tip for helping you to save in 2021, but it’s also perfect for helping the national economy to get back on its feet after the pandemic and encouraging local business growth.
It is key to remember that the first few months of 2021 are going to be difficult for almost everyone and every household is having to make cuts to get through the start of the year. This means that it is more than ok to ask for help or seek advice to support you with your finances.