Generally, I’m not one for making New Year resolutions – sometimes they can put too much pressure on people.
However the start of another year is a really good time to take stock of your money situation, set some realistic financial goals and think about how you will be better off in 2023. A few minutes thinking about and planning your spending this year will bring pleasing financial rewards later on.
So rather than making resolutions which you may not keep, I suggest making different choices. Choose to be in control of your money, rather than let it control you. Do that by choosing when to spend and when to save.
With some spending you have no choice, your mortgage/rent for instance, or other essential bills. But on many occasions when we splash the cash, we do have a choice.
Choose not to buy that pint in a pub today and you could have a fiver or so to spend on a later occasion, when you might need it more. Walking somewhere rather than taking a bus could save you another couple of quid extra. These are small choices, but they could help make a big difference.
You’ll know yourself when you’re in a position to make a choice. Every time you reach for your purse or wallet, ask yourself, do I need to spend this money now or could I use it later?
The more you choose to spend later, the more you’ll find that later you have the cash to pay for the things you really need. It’s a mindset and a good habit to get into, especially when things are getting tighter.
I reckon 2023 is a great time to get into a savings habit. Even if you think you can’t manage it, I reckon you can. Ask yourself this: could you save a penny? If so, could you save 2p the next day, and 3p on the third, and then increase it by another penny every day?
If you did that every day in 2023 – and it sounds a realistic challenge doesn’t it? - by the end of the year you’d be saving £3.65 a day. Does that sound achievable? If you think it sounds a little pointless as saving up a few pennies doesn’t lead to much, you’d be mistaken.
Follow the plan for the whole year and you’d have saved £667.95 by 31 December 2023. That’s money that could really help make a difference. A lot of money experts favour the 1p saving challenge as it’s a neat way of showing how small and regular saving can lead to a decent nest egg.
If you do save money during the year the net result will be that you will have given yourself another choice – what to do with the cash? If your first thought is to blow it all on a party, then you’ve probably missed the main lesson of the process. The lesson is that saving money is about giving you choices. The almost £700 you could save on the 1p saving challenge could be a deposit on a much-needed holiday in 2024, or it could be used towards building up an even bigger nest egg. Ultimately it’s your choice.
Our bank accounts come with tools to help you track your spending, like our 5-star rated* App. You can choose to receive alerts every time your credit or debit cards are used, so you know exactly what you’re spending on gifts, and how much is left.
We offer a range of savings accounts that can help you manage your finances. Put money aside in Instant Access Savings to cover bills, for example, and use a Fixed Term Savings account to help you plan further ahead. Our savings calculator helps you work out how much you could save over time.
*Metro Bank App rating on Apple Store