Money Matters: Hints and tips for a financially stable 2024

With 2024 already in full swing, the time for making new year’s resolutions may be long gone, but it’s never too late to take stock of your finances and start planning for the months ahead. Greg Potter, Head of Member Experience at Leeds Credit Union, explains how.

As we head into February and officially consign Christmas 2023 to the history books, now is an excellent time to take stock of your finances. Whether your goal is to save for a long-awaited holiday, become debt-free or build towards a comfortable retirement, setting clear and realistic financial targets can help you on your way.

At Leeds Credit Union, we’re dedicated to helping people in our local communities make smart decisions about their money, so here are five key financial resolutions that will help ensure a prosperous 2024.

1. Assess your financial health
It’s important to understand your financial situation before trying to determine your financial goals, so start by jotting down your income, debts, monthly expenses and savings. By evaluating your financial picture, you can identify both areas of improvement and those in which you’re already thriving.

2. Create a budget
An essential tool for financial wellbeing, making a budget is one of the simplest ways to keep your spending in check, allowing you to earmark funds for necessary expenses while still saving for your goals.
There are many budgeting tools and apps available that can help streamline this process, making it easier to keep track of your income, outgoings and savings. Try this free budget planner for starters.

3. Build an emergency fund
Life is unpredictable so having an emergency fund that can act as your financial safety net, mitigating the impact of unexpected expenses or sudden unemployment, is an excellent idea. If you’re able to, saving 3-6 months’ worth of expenses in a separate savings account will help keep you on a stable financial footing in even the worst circumstances.

4. Pay off debts
Having large debts to your name can incur heavy interest charges and increase your stress levels, so try to tackle any lingering debts head-on. There’s no denying that clearing debts almost always takes time and discipline, but even making small strides toward debt elimination can provide a great sense of accomplishment and will help ensure a debt-free future.

5. Boost your retirement savings
Your ‘golden years’ might seem a long way away but it’s never too early to start planning for them!
Increasing your contribution to your pension plan – or starting one if you haven’t already – will provide long-term benefits and help ensure a comfortable, secure retirement.

How credit unions can help

Setting and adhering to financial resolutions can seem daunting at first. But remember, big leaps start with small steps, so try to envisage your long-term financial goals, then break them down into attainable, short-term objectives.

Here at Leeds Credit Union, we’re committed to helping you on your financial journey. Our Money and Budgeting Service (MABS) team works with tenants of certain housing associations to help create realistic budgets that ensure their bills are paid on time and their money goes as far as possible – you can contact them here.

Leeds Credit Union provides straightforward and affordable financial services to people in Leeds.

Photo: Shutterstock


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