5 tips to finish 2019 strong
Updated: Nov 17, 2019
We are almost halfway through November which means that we have less than two months left of 2019! We know that our future financial wellbeing depends on the choices we make today, which is why we at ZTW have spent the weekend looking long and hard on how we can boost our finances to finish off the year a little stronger. Here's what we found:
1. Pay extra on your debt
Making one extra payment towards your debt (mortgage, student or credit debt) a year is a great idea. It is achievable yet effective. It has the potential of saving you hundreds in interest and pay off your debt quicker. Ideally, you'd pay an extra 1/12 each month, but if you haven't, this is the time to make an extra payment.
2. Look back and learn
Spend a few hours going through your bank statements, savings, and assets. What did you do well in 2019? Is there anything you would have done differently? What can you do to make it easier for yourself to achieve your goals in 2020? Let the answers to these questions inform your plans and goals for 2020.
3. Set spending priorities
Any big occasion coming up next year should be considered in your plans. Career change, starting a family, big birthdays or weddings can get you financially of off-track if not planned for. You should also consider what you want to focus any extra cash on - debt, savings, fun, travel?
5. Automate your savings
Anyone who's listened to the podcast Secrets of Wealthy Women knows that this is the worst-kept money secret! Set up an automatic transfer to your savings account for as soon as you get paid. There is so much psychology behind this because you don't have to make an active decision to transfer an amount to your savings which means you avoid the temptation of spending it. Furthermore, as this amount is withdrawn from your account as soon as you get paid, you don't notice it as much.
6. Increase your pension contribution
Most of us have two more paychecks this year, which is enough to make a difference. I challenge you to increase your pension contribution with 1 per cent. With an employer match, you get two per cent extra straight to your pension pot AND tax savings! With an average London-salary of £34473, that's less than £30 from you and almost £60 into your pension. This money will grow and compound until you retire!
7. Buy Christmas gifts early
Has this ship already sailed? Some people are already finished with their Christmas shopping in October, but personally, I tend to leave at least a few to the very last minute. However, I am proud to say I did finish most of my list yesterday! Starting in November lets you spread the cost, plan, and take advantage of good offers. Retailers love it when we are stressed and desperate the day before Christmas, willing to break our budget to get done and go home. Save yourself this stress and start this week!
What's your best advice to finish the year financially strong? Let me know in the comment section!