Last January our blogger Andy shared his financial new year resolutions with you. As with any promise people make to themselves, the words are only as good as your actions. So has he followed through with his plans?
I had the best intentions 12 months ago, but the outcomes have been mixed. In truth, I could have done better, but I have stuck to three of the five goals and they’ve kept my day-to-day finances on track.
I planned to keep on saving even though I didn’t have a “big project” to aim for (the previous couple of years were all about raising enough money for my wedding), and I’ve done just that. I actually found saving for mini-goals helps me focus on putting money aside.
Top tip: If you’re setting your own financial goals for the new year, be realistic in what you want to achieve and why.
Another goal was to keep track of spending, and this has been pretty easy to do too. Once a month I take a look at all my accounts to check there's nothing I shouldn't have spent and I'm getting the interest I expect.
Top tip: Always ask for a receipt if you pay with a contactless card.
My other “success” was to manage less of the household finances. This might seem like an odd goal, but sharing responsibility with my wife - who moved into my house and so all the bills were in my name - meant she had greater control and confidence in our budget.
I’ll strive to keep on with these habits in the new year.
Two to carry over for 2017
There were two resolutions I didn't manage to tackle, but they should be easy to action in 2017.
First I’ll make a will to ensure everything goes where I want if the worst was to happen. At my stage in life it should be quite simple to set up and I can adjust it in the future as circumstances change.
A little more complicated is to get a firm fix on my pensions. I’ve numerous ones from different workplaces but no clear idea whether I’ve saved enough so far or if I’m facing a shortfall. I'll start with the Money Advice Service Pensions calculator, and work out after that if I need to pay in more to get what I'll need when I retire. Though I've decades before this happens, I don't want to leave it too late.
Here’s to a prosperous 2017!