Looking back at the events of 2021, it is tempting to believe that the best that can be said of it was that was not as bad as 2020. The effects of Covid might still have been with us, but at least the lockdowns were not as severe.
To be fair, for many of us 2021 was actually better than could have been expected. The recovery seemed to have begun and anyone who owns property may have seen a major increase in their personal wealth as the housing market reached ever higher levels.
But 2021 is now just history. At Continuum, we are looking at the financial New Year Resolutions you need for 2022.
Resolve to deal with debt
As many of us have found over the last two years, debt is easy to fall into, very hard to get out of – and a big barrier to financial security and building wealth. The money that should be working for you and your future is being spent on interest instead.
The January credit card bills will probably be a sobering moment.
If you have debt, it is time to deal with it. Start by working out how much you have coming in and where it really goes. Your big bills, mortgage, council tax and car payments are easy. Now we are all going cashless you can also see all the little things, the daily coffee, the bottle of wine on a Friday night, even the daily newspaper, on your online statement.
When you know where the money is going, it’s easy to see where you can cut down, to give yourself some surplus monthly cash. Give yourself a budget that leaves you with a surplus. You can use this to start dealing with debts.
Credit cards should be a priority. Not only are they likely to be large this time of year, interest rates are always high. However, 0% balance transfer offers may be available. Transfer your balance and pay it off before the offer runs out.
Once you have paid off the cards and any loans, you will find your monthly cash surplus is even larger. But be careful…
Resolve to stick to a budget
Finding you have some extra cash will mean you will be tempted to find ways to spend it. A few more evenings out, a new car perhaps – and you will soon find you are no better off. Using cards and phones to pay makes spending easy. Stick to the budget you set yourself, even if you have cash mounting up in your bank.
That cash can work for you.
Resolve to get money working for you
You work hard for your money, so it really is only fair to expect it to work for you and grow to provide a cash lump sum for your future.
The traditional way of doing this was to open a savings account. However, although savings accounts are secure, with easy access to your cash, interest rates are now so low, savings accounts cannot keep up with inflation. This means that instead of watching your money grow, you will actually see its buying power and therefore its true value, whittled away over time.
Investing may be a better solution. A Stocks and Shares ISA could potentially provide an opportunity to beat inflation (however the returns are not guaranteed) with the aim of protecting the money you put in and potential growth from the taxman. At Continuum we can help you find a product that lets you invest on a regular monthly basis, making investing as easy as saving and potentially much more rewarding.
Which brings us to the most important resolution of all.
Resolve to call Continuum
You need expert help to make the most of your finances. We can never reach our financial targets by luck alone. At Continuum, we believe the answer is a carefully costed plan, based on your personal circumstances and the objectives you have set yourself.
Our service is always personal because the solutions you need may be very different from those we arrange for other clients. What’s more, your goals will change as the years go by. We will ensure that your plan can change with them.
We will put our recommendations into a personal report, with recommendations about the strategies you need to reach your financial goals. Your plan can cover every aspect of your financial future and include investments, protection and a pension, with the products you need to deliver the kind of financial growth and security you want.
You can see more in our downloadable brochure – but make it your key resolution to call us and get our expertise working for you.
The information contained in this article is based on the opinion of Continuum and does not constitute financial advice or a recommendation to suitable investment strategy, you should seek independent financial advice before embarking on any course of action.The Financial Conduct Authority does not regulate deposit accounts and personal finance