How to Keep on Top of Your Finances in 2024

How to keep on top of finances

A new year is the perfect time to get your finances in order. Money stuff can feel boring or overwhelming, but it doesn’t have to be! This post will walk you through the key money moves to focus on step-by-step so you can take control of your cash in 2024.

We’ll talk about doing a budget reset, setting some savings goals for the year, evaluating your investment strategy, removing debt, boosting your credit score, insurance needs, and even writing a will. We’ll include practical tips and UK resources to simplify each money task.

Do a Budget Review and Set Savings Goals

Starting with the budget, take a look at what you spent money on last year and see if you need to shift some things around. The 50/30/20 budget method is an easy plan to follow:

50% to essentials like housing, bills, transportation

30% to lifestyle expenses like dining out, subscriptions

20% to financial goals like debt payments and savings

Make use of Apps like Monzo that make tracking spending easy. Once you’ve got your budget framework, set some specific savings goals to aim for this year. Maybe finally start that emergency fund or save for a trip. Break bigger goals into monthly amounts so they’re less intimidating.

Evaluate and Optimize Your Investments

In terms of investments, it’s important to have a look at how your stocks, bonds, funds and other investments did last year. Sell any underperformers and rebalance to get your asset mix back on track for your goals and risk comfort level.

Max out contributions to UK tax-advantaged accounts like ISAs and workplace pensions. Robo-advisors like Nutmeg make investing super easy too.

When it comes to your portfolio, think long-term and diversify. Mix in stocks for growth potential and bonds for stability. Index funds and ETFs let you invest in entire markets cheaply.

Manage and Reduce Your Debt

Debt can be a problem that seriously drags you down, it’s great to make a plan to get it sorted out. List out all your debts like credit cards, loans, mortgage, student loans. Look at the balances, interest rates and monthly minimums.

Set a specific debt payoff goal for 2024. The debt avalanche or debt snowball methods work great. Cut expenses where possible to put extra towards debt. Make at least the minimum monthly payments on time – late fees are the worst!

Improve Your Credit Score

While we’re talking debt, let’s chat credit score too. Check your credit reports and work on improving your score by:

  • Paying all bills on time
  • Keeping credit card balances low
  • Limiting new credit applications
  • Having different loan types like mortgages, credit cards, car loans

It takes time, but responsible credit habits will build your score.

Create a Will and Review Insurance Coverage

This stuff may not be exciting but it’s very important. Make sure you have a current will that spells out your wishes if you die – who gets your assets, who will care for your kids, etc. Online services like Co-op Legal Services make wills easy.

Review all your insurance too – health, life, home, auto. Make sure you’ve got proper coverage in case anything happens. Take advantage of workplace insurance benefits.

When it comes to life insurance, get quotes to find the right policy at a good price for your situation. 10-15x your income is a general guideline.

Here are some final tips:

  • Review your budget and financial goals regularly to stay on track
  • Rebalance investments and meet with a financial advisor annually
  • Don’t take on new debt without a solid payoff plan
  • Keep building credit history responsibly
  • Update insurance and estate planning docs when life changes
  • Attend free money management workshops and courses
  • Use UK sites like MoneySavingExpert and Money Advice Service
  • Get help from places like StepChange if you’re struggling