New Year, New Start with Scottish Friendly

New Year - New Start Budgeting

2014 – New Year, New Start

Author: Scottish Friendly

Scottish Friendly New Year

With the festive season now over, it’s time to turn your attention to 2014. A popular New Year’s resolution is to get into a regular saving and investing habit. We’ve outlined some of the steps you can use to get yourself started below.

Remember the past, consider the present

Before moving forward, it’s always good to have a look back and review your saving and investing for the previous year. How did you get on? Did you achieve the goals you set for yourself? Did you even set yourself any goals to achieve? What worked for you and what didn’t? If you’re not satisfied with how your 2013 performed then perhaps you could make some changes.

It’s also a good idea to assess where you are now. Do you have a financial hangover to get rid of from the festive season? Think about any pressing debts or essential purchases that you’ll need to make in 2014 and write them down. Once you’ve gone through these steps you can think about how to improve your financial position for the year ahead.

What goes in, what must come out

Draw yourself up a budget. Note down what you bring in on a monthly basis and compare this to your essential monthly outgoings such as food, fuel, rent etc. This will give you an idea of how much disposable income you have with which to save or invest.

Budgeting

There are plenty of free tools online that will aid you in this such as the household budget calculator from This is Money. You could even download an APP to help you budget as you go.

A good way to approach a budget is to collate all your receipts/bills/statements for a month and use them as a basis for entering in the data. If you’re managing to spend less than you bring in per month that’s great; if not, then perhaps it’s time to re think your definition of “essential” monthly outgoings!

Set achievable targets

Now you’ve worked out your budget you can think about what you want to achieve financially in the coming year. These might be linked with some of the above points such as paying off debts or replacing the family car. You could even look further down the road and start to put money aside for you or your children’s futures. Whatever your reason to save or invest, make sure that your goals are achievable within your monthly budget. There’s no sense in setting wild targets that you’ll never manage to stick to and, in some cases, taking money out of your account to cover shortfalls could even cost you extra.

One strategy for those looking to get into a regular saving and investing habit this year could be opening an Investment ISA like the My Fund Options (ISA) from Scottish Friendly.

UK residents over the age of 18 are entitled to have two ISAs each tax year:  an Investment ISA and a  Cash ISA. Up to £11,520 can be invested in the tax year 2013/14 between the two.

The My Fund Options (ISA) is an Investment ISA with three different funds to choose from, allowing the owner to tailor their policy as they wish. Investments start from just £10 a month so even those with a small amount to spare can start investing.

The My Fund Options (ISA) should be considered as a medium to long-term investment for a period of at least five years. The value of investments can fall as well as rise and you may get back less than you have paid in.

The information provided in this article was accurate at the time of publishing and should be read in the context of the date it was published.

Scottish Friendly has provided no advice in relation to this plan. If you are in any doubt as to whether a plan is suitable for you, you should contact a financial advisor for advice. If you do not have a financial adviser, you can get details of local financial advisers by visiting www.unbiased.co.uk Advisers may charge for providing such advice and should confirm any cost beforehand.

Scottish Friendly Asset Managers Limited, Scottish Friendly House, 16 Blythswood Square, Glasgow G2 4HJ. www.scottishfriendly.co.uk Authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority. Details can be found on the FS register – Registration No. 188832. Member of IMA.

Posted on 15 Jan 2014  |  Posted in  New Year's Resolutions
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