2023 money resolutions you can actually keep

The start of the New Year always feels like a great time to make big changes, whether that be to your diet and exercise routine, the amount of alcohol you drink or your spending habits.  

But, as many of us are aware, big changes rarely last – and when it comes to money and budgeting, it’s better to make sustainable changes that will last the year, not just the first three weeks.

Try these five easy money changes that could make a big difference to your 2023.

Commit to a daily finance check

Out of sight out of mind. 

If that’s your mantra when it comes to money, it’s time for a 180. 

While it might feel better to ignore your outgoings until payday, the anxiety-avoidance can lead to more money going out than you think.

‘Check it every day, and you’ll be able to keep track of where you’re making unnecessary purchases that can be avoided,’ says Sam Covington, a finance expert at loan company Finbri.

Keep a money diary

As well as looking at your finances every day, it’s a good idea to make a note either on a spreadsheet, app or a good old fashioned notebook. 

Sam says: ‘Write down every single penny you spend and keep receipts for items you’ve bought so you can fill in your diary at home, if it’s not on your phone.

‘You might forget some things at first, but you’ll soon get into the habit of making a note of everything.’

This diary will help you filter out unnecessary purchases and help you make a plan for your budgets, as you’ll be more aware of how much money you spend on things like bills, food and fun. 

Make a cash budget 

If you’re prone to chucking your budget out the window after the first week, Sam advises trying cash budgeting. 

‘You’re much more aware of how much you’re spending when you’re handing over physical cash,’ says Sam.

‘Make a budget, down to the penny, of all the essential things you need to pay for everything, like food shopping, petrol, and days out.

‘Then, withdraw cash and divide it into labelled envelopes so you know how much you have for each category.’

When doing this, be mindful that you will need to keep some money in your bank to pay direct debits and spend in cashless stores. 

You can also adjust your system each month depending on how much you spend for each category. 

Do it yourself

When it comes to cutting down on spending, Sam advises starting slow by cutting out one unnecessary spend per week.

‘A £4 coffee every morning might not seem like much at the time, but it’ll quickly add up to £80 a month – nearly £1000 over the course of a year,’ he says.

The best way to do this is to work out what you can do yourself: make your own coffee every morning, rewear an old outfit or learn to sew so you can mend old clothes, or suggest cooking for your friends instead of going on a night out. 

Slowly but surely, you’ll have much more wiggle room in your bank account. 

Don’t be too hard on yourself

Finally, don’t beat yourself up if things don’t go to plan. 

As Sam says: ‘Budgeting and saving doesn’t always go to plan – boilers stop working, cars break down, and sometimes you have emergencies that need to be paid for. 

‘Don’t be too hard on yourself if your savings aren’t building as quickly as you’d like.

‘Stick with the resolutions you’ve set and you’ll get there.’

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