I’ve got goals for 2019, and I bet you do too! Before the year gets well and truly underway, it’s a good time to take a look through your finances and give them a bit of an audit. Here are some ideas to have you starting off 2019 in the best possible place.

  1. Conduct a retirement saving review.
  2. Check your health insurance. Did you have any health expenses last year that you’re covered for but still haven’t claimed? My benefits reset on 30 June each year so the new year is an ideal time to make sure I’ve claimed everything I can so far.
  3. Actually, while you’re checking your health insurance, is there anything that you’re entitled for that you could book or pay for now, while you remember? You’re supposed to get your teeth cleaned at least every 12 months you know, may as well get it out of the way in January.
  4. Review how much you’re spending on your bills. For example your energy, car insurance, health insurance and gym membership bills. Take a look at some competitors and see if you can get a better deal elsewhere.
  5. Review your credit card debt. Did you do some financial damage over Christmas? (I’m guilty of this one!) Create a plan to pay it off early in the year and get it out of the way.
  6. Presents, presents, presents. Did you receive any gift cards for Christmas? Diarise when they expire so you don’t forget. If you know what you’re going to use them for, consider using them now so that you don’t use them. Alternatively, make sure that they’re in a safe place.
  7. If you tracked it, review your spending from 2018. There are many debit and credit card providers that categorise your spending into reports for you. There are also a number of apps you can use to track your spending (my preferred way at the moment). If you have something like this already, review your stats and see what you could cut down on in 2018. The amount I spent on work lunches scares me, so it’s my resolution to bring lunch to work more often.
  8. If you don’t have something that tracks your spending in place, consider looking at what option might work best for you.
  9. Work out a budget according to your incomings and outgoings. Then you’ll be in a better place to set financial goals.
  10. Consider what you want to achieve in 2019. Maybe you want to pay off your student loans, pay off your credit card, save for a life event like a wedding or starting a family, or even save up a deposit for your first home. Perhaps not all at once!
  11. After coming up with some goals for the year, break them down into SMART goals. Goals that are Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant and Time Sensitive. For example, saving £500 per month for a home deposit is all of these things.:
    • The amount, £500 is specific;
    • It’s a monetary amount so its clearly measurable;
    • Whether or not its attainable depends on your circumstances, work out what is achievable for you by creating a realistic budget;
    • It’s relevant, saving £500 per month will put you on the right track for a deposit; and
    • It’s time sensitive, in that you need to achieve it according to a monthly deadline.

What are some of your financial goals for 2019? Do you do a financial checkup at the beginning of the new year?

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