It’s the most wonderful time of the year! Or so Andy Williams says. As we head into the Christmas period, and you take stock of your life so far, you may be considering your plans for the New Year ahead. Where would you like to be in a year’s time? Here are a few suggestions from Credibble as to what New Year’s resolutions as we ring in the third year of the 2020s.
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Work on your debt
In the New Year, why not resolve to take care of your debt once and for all? Perhaps you might want to find out exactly how far you’re in the red, and make financial commitments to get yourself back in the black. If you can, try to avoid taking on any new debt. Showing that you can pay back what you owe is very encouraging to lenders.
Register to vote
Registering to vote is quick, free, and easy, and it gets your name on the public record. This means that lenders can verify your personal details much quicker. As we’ve discussed before, you do not have to go on the Open Register for lenders to find you on the electoral roll, so don’t be afraid to put your name out there!
Save, save, save!
Do you have a savings account? Perhaps you do – an instant-access account that you occasionally dip into when you see a pair of shoes you like, or you need to cover the cost of a pricey taxi ride home. In the New Year, look at what other savings products are open to you.
If you are a member of a trade union, you might have the ability to join up with a credit union, whose savings accounts can offer much better interest than high street banks. If you’re not, look around for credit unions in your area.
If you don’t want to join a credit union, there are also many savings options open to you, such as Lifetime ISAs, Premium Bonds and more.
Savings can help you get money together for a deposit, so when the time comes to buy, you’re prepared.
Many financial advisors recommend that people who are looking to invest “invest little and often” – by which is meant investing a set amount of money periodically into small investments such as stocks and shares, which then pay dividends later on. This can be a good way to generate passive income which you can then put towards things like buying a home.
However, there are caveats to this. Remember that investment is always capital at risk. While investments can be very rewarding, they can also leave you worse off than you went in. Always, always, always talk to a financial advisor or stockbroker before you decide to invest.
Reduce your costs
It is very patronising when a faceless company tells you to stop eating avocado toast and drinking coffee, and we get that. However, it might be time for you to think about your needs vs. your wants. Are there things you can do without? Are there things you can change?
Consider: Instead of buying a cup of coffee every day, why not get yourself a Thermos flask or reusable coffee cup, buy some decent coffee at the supermarket, and learn to make it yourself? You may find that your foray into being a barista helps you learn to make coffee the way you like it, plus it is likely to be cheaper as the only labour costs will be your own.
You can reduce your grocery bills in much the same way.
There are other costs to consider too – are there trips you often make by car that might be better made by foot, bike, or public transport? This can help reduce your fuel costs, and as petrol climbs in price, it also reduces demand. This could leave you and other drivers better off!
You may find that a lot of the things you think you need are actually just things you want.
Improve your credit score with Credibble
Your credit score is an important deciding factor in demonstrating your creditworthiness to lenders. It shows how reliable you are when it comes to borrowing.
It’s Credibble’s goal to help first-time buyers to get their first mortgage. That’s why we’ve started Credibble Home.
Unlike other credit scores, Credibble’s unique 24-Factor Credit Report shows you what you need to be doing to get your credit score on track for a mortgage. In the UK, up to two-thirds of first-time buyers find themselves rejected when they go to take out a mortgage.
The system assesses your credit report and points you towards changes in your financial behaviour that can help build your creditworthiness.
And what’s more, a subscription is cheaper than a takeaway, so consider joining today!
Set yourself a budget
Budgeting is very easy once you get the hang of it. There’s loads of free software and apps that can do it for you. You can also make a budget in any spreadsheet software, if you know how to use it. What’s key is getting control of your spending and trying to strike a balance between in-coming money and out-going money.
Once you know what money you need for essentials, you can work out how much you want to spend on luxuries, and how much you want to save up. Many people don’t realise how much money they’re burning! A budget can help you set your priorities straight and make you more mindful when you spend.
Just make sure not to be too restrictive – you deserve to have nice things, and nobody likes a miser. To have a handle on your finances is enough.
If you do one thing this New Year, it’s to make sure that you’re not asleep at the wheel when it comes to your finances. Make sure you adopt healthier financial habits, and you could be one step closer to the good life. And that’s definitely something worth celebrating.
Credibble offers two fabulous solutions.
If you’re preparing to take a mortgage, never apply until you’ve tried our unique and FREE Credibble Home app. Our smart technology will tell you what you need to fix so you avoid rejection. The app predicts when you will be able to buy, for how much and tracks your month-by-month progress to mortgage success. We’ve even added your own mortgage broker, so you get the best deals available.
More focused on your credit rating? Well, get started for free with Credibble’s 24- Factor Credit Check to truly help you improve your creditworthiness and how lenders view you. (Remember: lenders don’t use your credit score! We’ll show you what lenders look for and how to get your credit report in the best shape possible).
From all of us at Credibble, we wish you a very happy holidays!