New Year's Financial Resolutions

By Leeds Credit Union

Although the new year is already almost two weeks old, there's still time to make plans to help you take back control of your finances in 2022.

Whether you're reeling from an expensive Christmas, trying to stop running up debts or saving up for a big ticket item, we've compiled some expert advice to help you reach your goal and start the new year the right way.

1. Grow your savings

This may sound obvious - after all, who doesn't want money in the bank? - but saving money is easier said than done.

One of the most effective ways to save money is to reduce your outgoings and save the difference, so cancel subscriptions you don't use, consider buying items second hand instead of brand new and start making your lunch instead of buying it from a cafe every time you go to work.

Our pre-Christmas blog on saving money has plenty more hints and tips and you can read it here.

2. Invest in yourself

With higher living costs and ongoing price hikes in numerous sectors, early indications suggest that the smartest thing to invest in in 2022 is your own future.

Be honest with yourself about your financial situation and start trying to put a little extra aside each month so that you have an emergency fund to fall back on if things get worse before they get better. 

Even if you don't have much disposable income, this is still achievable - the key is saving small amounts regularly. To do so, set up a savings account, then set up a standing order to automatically transfer whatever you can realistically afford into it every week or month. It'll soon add up.

3. Make it harder to spend your money

In theory, asking yourself if you actually need what you're about to purchase and walking away if the answer is 'no' should be easy. In reality, however, buying items we can't really afford and later regret is all too easily done.

To increase your chances of making fewer unnecessary purchases, add contactless spending limits to your bank cards to make it harder to impulse buy. You can also delete your payment details from websites on which you regularly shop - this will mean you can't buy anything without first getting up to retrieve your bank card with all your information on it. 

By making the checking-out process longer, you will give yourself more time to ask yourself if you really need whatever's in your basket.

4. Sign up for some free financial education

At school in the UK, most people only learn a very basic amount about money and finances, so it's easy to feel lost when trying to understand economic affairs.

Fortunately, there are lots of financial experts offering free advice online (Money Saving Expert is definitely worth a visit) and many also have social media accounts, so follow them on apps like Twitter and you'll have money saving hints at your fingertips in no time. Free newsletters offering advice on personal finance are also widely available and, at Leeds Credit Union, we offer a Money and Budgeting Service (MABS) to tenants of Housing Leeds. 

5. Reduce your energy bill

You're probably aware that energy prices have risen sharply in recent months so it's never been more important to try and minimise your gas and electric bills.

From switching to energy-saving light bulbs and remembering to turn appliances off at night, to shopping around for cheaper energy suppliers, there's an abundance of energy saving advice available online. 

To coincide with Energy Saving Week on January 17th, we'll be posting a blog on the subject next week ourselves - watch this space!

Here for you in '22

As well as our MABS service, we offer a range of loans and savings accounts to our members to help make the next 12 months as affordable as possible, whatever they have in store.