2020 wasn’t quite the start to a new decade the world had in mind. If you had big financial plans for 2020 but weren’t able to make them a reality due to the pandemic, why not reboot your savings strategy in the New Year? Now that vaccines are becoming available, chances are you’ll find it much easier to put money away in 2021. Read on to find out more about becoming financially ready in 2021.
Look to the future
2021 may well be the year that you achieve financial comfort and start putting away bigger sums for a brighter future. The money that you save could go towards a house deposit, a car, higher education or that holiday that you’ve been spent the whole year dreaming of. Financial readiness allows you to start making more progress in your life knowing that your monetary obligations are being met. For some people, financial readiness is just about being able to pay the bills on time, whilst for others it can mean acquiring the more luxurious things that life has to offer. For more recommended reading we suggest this post but if you’re short on time we’ll cover some of its main points in the 2 minute read below:
Aspirations and obstacles
According to a Wonga South Africa study, 99% of people wish to own a property, with most of these hoping to acquire at least two. However, only half of those surveyed said they were currently saving for their retirement. People all over the world are in a similar predicament. Saving may be the best opportunity that you have to get the life that you desire. Even if you rarely save money or feel you won’t be able to put away much after you’ve met your monthly living expenses, opportunities may still be available.
Bonuses and paying with cash
Are you the lucky recipient of a Christmas bonus? If so, don’t simply blow it on frivolous purchases. Consider putting it into a high-interest savings account if you can. Your cash may become inaccessible for a certain period but the rewards can be sizable. Whilst you cannot access the cash, you won’t be able to spend it on things that you don’t need. You can also stop yourself from making unnecessary purchases by carrying cash instead of using your card. Money doesn’t feel as ‘real’ for many people when they are simply using their cards, but paying with cash can make you take more care with your finances.
Subscriptions and contracts
Another effective way to save money is to cut back on services that you’re not getting much use out of. If you have several streaming subscriptions, you could keep hold of your favourite and dispense with the others, they’re all getting more expensive after all. Perhaps you’re paying too much for your household bills? If so, look around online to see if a better deal is available. You may even get a more cost-effective deal from your current supplier if you let them know you’re thinking about leaving. Contract prices do tend to rise in January, so make sure your bills aren’t being quietly bumped up in the new year.
Review and record
If you have access to your recent bank statements, try to see how much unnecessary impulse purchases have been costing you. What seem like harmless transactions at the time can easily add up and hold you back from achieving financial readiness. Try adding up the money you have spent on these purchases – the total may come as a shock. You can also try recording your expenses to see which specific products and services you’ve been specifically purchasing. This may give you more detail than a simple bank statement.
There are all sorts of things you can do if you’re determined to improve your finances in 2021. The above are merely a few suggestions to get you started.
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