Making New Year's resolutions is something many of us do, but once you get to a certain age you tend to make them with pretty much the expectation that they'll have been forgotten long before spring! That being said, the motivation of a resolution to stick to can be the extra push you need to make a positive change in your life that can last all year, and even become habit and remain with you for the longer term.
Finance in the New Year
When it comes to things like diet and fitness, it doesn't really need to be a memorable date like the 1st of January to resolve to make a difference, so these tend to be the resolutions that fall by the wayside, however if the changes you want to make are financial, then it does actually make a lot of sense to start tracking things from the start of a new month, or even better a new year!
Here are some ideas if you want to make managing the household budget better in 2016:
Have a Budget to Begin With!
Being clear on your monthly incomings and expenses is the foundation for having a good budget. If you are financially comfortable as a household, then it is easy to let this slip – you don't really need to worry about how much you spend on food or if you have subscriptions to things you don't use anymore coming out every month, so there is no pressure to do the work. However, by actually looking at your budget and quickly eliminating waste, you'll soon find yourself able to save a lot more or invest money in things that will benefit you.
Look At Where You Have 'Risk' In Your Budget, and Have a Plan For It
You may be ticking along from month to month just fine, but what are you going to do if you encounter an unexpected emergency expense? Say you need major work done on your home or car as a matter of urgency, or your pet needs expensive veterinary treatment. Maybe it won't be an emergency but an opportunity, like your child getting the option to go on a worthwhile but expensive trip abroad with school, or the opportunity to invest in a friend's fantastic new business idea.
Having contingency plans to get access to money you might need suddenly is always a good idea, especially if you tend to live fairly fluidly and don't have much by way of savings or assets you could sell. Be aware of options your bank offers or sources of UK home and personal loans you can easily apply for if you need to, and make sure you are adequately insured for any situations that it is more sensible to insure against.
By actually creating a budget based on what you expect to come in and what your needs are each month, and then putting in plans for any sudden needs for money that may arise, you'll already have the foundations for a more financially comfortable new year!