If you, like many people within the UK, are struggling with financial and debt management issues then the New Year should come as a blessing.
While cash-strapped individuals may have to add Christmas expenditure onto their debt pile, the start of a new year represents the chance to start afresh and turn over a new leaf, with the ultimate aim of getting debt free.
Such is the way of the world, very rarely do we as humans get the chance to sit back, reflect and asses where we are in life and this applies to a number of different areas.
One such area is finances. Because we are often so busy getting by from month to month, it can be difficult to look at the bigger picture but a new year offers the chance to do just that.
So, when the turkey has all been eaten and the last of the mince pies have gone, why not take a look at your monetary situation and set yourself some new year targets to help get you back in the black?
Like all budgeting, it’s largely a balancing act between ensuring that you are making good strides towards paying off what you owe and not overstretching yourself.
On one hand, don’t see budgeting as a punishment for getting into debt and set yourself a meagre allowance to live on, but don’t make small inroads into paying off money and think it’s job done.
Work out where you can make cuts, how much you should look to reduce this area by and then go out and do it.
Think of it as being a new year but also a new lifestyle were you will be able to restore your finances to a steady state and while this may not sound like a great way to start 2013, it’s essential in the long run.
The sooner you act to turn things around, the sooner your finances will be in rude health again.
Leave it until a few months down the line and you are simply prolonging the amount of time you spend in debt.
Stick to it
Once you’ve gone about sorting out your financial resolutions, then important thing then is how you plan to stick to it from day-to-day, from week-to-week and from month-to-month.
There needs to be a system in place for you to ensure you are keeping pace with the challenges you have set yourself or ultimately the whole thing is going to come crumbling down.
One idea to consider is a reward system so that if you meet a month’s target then you can maybe have that meal out or that extra drink at the pub whereas if you don’t then you have to miss out on such treats.
Don’t go overboard on this as you may end up undoing your good work but for some people an incentive or a punishment, adds a little bit of extra desire to these sorts of initiatives.
Keep track and monitor
Finally, ensure that you are keeping a beady eye on what is actually going on in your bank account under the new financial regime.
You need to know exactly where you stand and for that reason you also must be fully aware of how the plan is going.
There’s no point working off incorrect figures or out-of-date targets because ultimately it will prove a fairly futile exercise. Be certain that you know how the plan is going and whether you need to make any adjustments.
This makes your life easier because if you’re well ahead schedule then you can afford to relax a little bit while, conversely, if you’re struggling massively then it’s either time to buck your ideas up or get back to the drawing board.
Like any New Year’s resolutions, it’s vital to keep them sensible and realistic while also ensuring that you stick to them.
By failing to do this, you are only storing up trouble for yourself further down the line so, with 2013 on the horizon, why not make it your resolution to sort those finances out?
Chances are, come 2014, you’ll be thankful that you did, rather than simply putting it off.