Set your New Year resolutions centred around financial wellness
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The high spending season has come and gone, leaving many of us wondering how all of our money has vanished? We all feel it. Most of us were paid early, making January seem like the longest month of the year. Now we need to manage money.
The festive period is often a time where holiday excitement, shopping deals, longer retail hours and maybe even a bonus creates an irresistible urge to spend more on food, drinks and gifts. Unfortunately, this can cloud our judgement and chances are your bank balance is suffering a debt hangover by this stage. “Januworry” becomes the dreaded month for many of us, with bills to pay and what feels like a financial mountain to climb.
We have put together a January Survival pack to help you get through your Christmas debt hangover:
How much did you spend over Christmas? Ask any friend or relative and most will not be able to tell you. This is one of the reasons the “average” festive season spend figures are hard to track down.
According to The Independent, it is suggested that each adult in the UK spends around £550 on Christmas. With around 80% of Brits admitting to overspending on their budget.
The Bank of England revealed that by October (2018) consumer credit was increasing by around £900 million a month, which included a rise in credit card borrowing of £400 million. So, we can be sure that most of us have some form of a December debt headache by this point. Best cure?
- Don’t despair and don’t blow your budget. Accept that Januworry is going to be a costly month and try to rework it. It’s time to manage money.
- Prioritise what needs to be paid first – such as mortgages or loans, council tax etc. If you are worried you cannot make repayments to lenders then don’t stay quiet, speak to your broker and lenders to come up with a solution as many lenders offer “repayment holidays”. This meaning that you may be able to delay paying for a month or two.
- Make a list of what has to be paid and when in order of importance. Luxury items and social life will have to be at the bottom for this month if you want to survive your debt hangover!
Once you have worked out what money you have left for the month then prioritise what needs to be paid first. Certain lenders can have more severe consequences for not paying your bills on time.
Ultimately you do not want to miss any repayments or damage your credit score. If you feel you cannot keep up with all the different repayments or keep track of what is owed, then chat to one of our brokers about the option of a debt consolidation loan.
The benefits of this can be viewed here and you may find that our experts can help turn your different debts into one easy repayment per month, often with a lower interest rate.
Consolidation loans can:
- Reduce the amount going out from your account each month
- Leave you with just one monthly repayment to manage
- Reduce the interest rate on the total debt
- Get your finances back under control
- Improve your credit score and credit history
It is important to bear in mind that although debt consolidation may reduce your monthly amount, if the term is increased the total you have to pay back may be more over all. It is important to ask your broker these questions and weigh up all the options to manage your debt.
3. Manage your current debt
Lists for the new year should not only be about getting healthy physically, ultimately living well includes financial wellbeing. Make a list of all the debt contracts you currently have and work out what the charges and interest amount to each month.
Reorder these debts by priority, manage money, such as your mortgage being first on the list, as well as loans and overdrafts. Competition is steep between lenders and some may be willing to renegotiate your terms and conditions. If you own a property for example, then you might want to look at remortgaging.
Remortgaging is whereby you switch your existing mortgage to a new deal, using your property as security. This can be done by switching to a new lender or renegotiating a better deal with your current one.
Loan.co.uk is able to scan the market, searching 1,000s of mortgages in seconds to find you the lowest rate. There are no upfront fees and it may be worth your while to see what options there are available, as you could be saving a lot of money with a better interest rate.
Bear in mind, however, that if you decide to move your mortgage to a new one your existing lender may charge an early repayment charge. This is a type of ‘exit fee’ that can be found in your lenders T&Cs. Alternatively, chat to Loan.co.uk who will be able to offer all the advice you might need around remortgaging.
Rather than worrying about what debt you may or may not have, there are various agencies that can assist in showing you what your credit score actually is. Loan.co.uk can run a ‘soft credit check” if you need to apply for a mortgage or loan. Meaning, this will provide some basic answers on your financial status and not affect the score!
4. Responsible resolutions
Financial well-being should form a major role in your new year’s resolutions. One of the more common New Year goals is to save more money but having a long-term plan in place to manage money has far greater benefits financially.
If you have been yearning to get on the property ladder or ‘invest’ in that dream property, then take the time to speak to our brokers about the many options available.
Januworry may seem endless and the idea of buying a home impossible, but in actual fact, banks are making it easier for first time buyers. According to figures released from the Bank of England, interest rates have fallen to a 23-year low. This means that banks are currently offering the lowest mortgage rates since 1995 (since the records were started). Even if you think you have not saved up enough for a deposit, it may be worth chatting to our brokers as there are many options available.
If you are ready to set your new year up for success and want to take the plunge into buying a property, remortgaging your home, or even looking to consolidate all of your debt then chat to our experts.
You can simply leave your details on our website and we will call you back immediately. There are no upfront fees and we will search the market for the best solution for your circumstance. Loans and mortgages range from £100 to £100 million and our ambition is to help you fulfil your goals. Set those budgets, write down your New Year’s goals, shake off the December hangover and worry less about January.