How to achieve your financial goals - M4Money Credit Union

It’s the start of the year and you have set your financial goals that you are hoping to achieve.

Here are some ideas of how to achieve some financial goals.

Resolution 1: Keeping track of daily spending in 2023

How you can achieve this:

  1. Use a budgeting app: There are many budgeting apps available that allow you to track your spending by category, such as groceries, transportation, and entertainment. These apps often have features like automatic transaction tracking, bill reminders, and the ability to set and track financial goals.

    Examples of budgeting apps include: Monese, Money Dashboard and Revolut.

  2. Create a spreadsheet: If you prefer a more hands-on approach, you can create a spreadsheet to track your spending. This can be as simple as listing out your expenses and income in a spreadsheet and subtracting the two to see how much you have left to spend. You can also create separate sheets for different categories of spending, such as bills and discretionary spending.
  3. Use cash or a debit card: Using cash or a debit card can help you stay on top of your spending because you can only spend what you have available. When you use a credit card, it’s easy to overspend because you don’t feel the immediate impact of your purchases.
  4. Keep receipts: Another way to keep track of your spending is to hold onto your receipts and record your purchases in a notebook or on your phone. This can be a bit more time-consuming, but it can be a good way to get a detailed understanding of where your money is going.
  5. No matter which method you choose, the key is to be consistent and review your spending regularly. This can help you identify areas where you may be overspending and make adjustments to stay on track with your budget.

Resolution 2: Get into the habit of saving money

How you can achieve this:

  1. Set a goal of what you are hoping to save money for. It needs to be specific, measurable, actionable, realistic and timely. You can read more about here.
  2. Open a savings account. At M for Money, we have a wide range of savings accounts to choose from with a reasonable interest rate. Find out more.
  3. Automate your savings for example through the M for Money Salary Savings Scheme where you can save through your payroll automatically.
  4. Create a budget of how much you will be saving each month. The Money Skills App has a good tool to help you. Learn more.
  5. Stop impulse purchases by thinking about how many times you would use an item before spending money. Your future self will thank you for this.
  6. When spending, think about how many hours you would need to work to afford a purchase that you are about to make.

Resolution 3: Become debt free

How you can achieve this:

There are a few steps you can take to become debt free:

    1. Make a budget: This will help you understand how much money you have coming in and going out, so you can see where you can cut back and free up money to put towards your debts.
    2. Prioritise your debts: It’s a good idea to focus on paying off your high-interest debts first, as these will cost you more in the long run.
    3. Negotiate with your creditors: If you’re having trouble making your payments, try talking to your creditors to see if they can lower your interest rate or provide a temporary hardship plan.
    4. Look into credit counselling: A credit counsellor can help you develop a debt repayment plan and provide guidance on managing your finances.
    5. Seek professional help: If your debts are overwhelming and you’re not sure where to turn, you may want to consider working with a financial advisor or bankruptcy attorney to help you get back on track.

Resolution 4: How can I save £2000 emergency fund?

Saving £2000 for an emergency fund is a great financial goal to have!

How you can achieve this:

  1. Create a budget: The first step to saving money is to know where your money is going. Make a list of your monthly income and expenses and try to reduce or eliminate any unnecessary expenses.
  2. Cut costs: Look for ways to reduce your monthly expenses. For example, you could switch to a cheaper cell phone plan, cut back on dining out or entertainment, or shop around for better prices on bills like utilities and insurance.
  3. Increase your income: Consider taking on a side hustle or asking for a raise at work to increase your income. Even a small increase can make a big difference over time.
  4. Automate your savings: Set up automatic transfers from your checking account to your savings account so you can save without having to think about it.
  5. Keep your savings in a separate account: It can be tempting to dip into your emergency fund for non-emergency expenses, so consider keeping your emergency savings in a separate account, such as a high-yield savings account or money market fund.

Remember to be patient and consistent with your saving efforts, and you’ll be well on your way to reaching your goal of £2000 emergency fund.