Over the past few years, the COVID-19 pandemic, national lockdowns, and lifestyle restrictions have taken their toll on the global economy. As a result, it is hardly surprising that a full two-thirds of Americans say they’re raiding their savings as prices for goods and services spike. To put it simply, we simply have less expendable cash than before – something which many people are (understandably) worrying about moving forward.
With that in mind, here are some simple steps you can follow to improve your financial situation in the new year.
- Cut back spending on your energy bills. Due to the rising price of energy across the world, your energy bills are likely one of your most significant monthly expenses. As a result, being able to save money on energy bills is one of the easiest ways to improve your financial situation. Thankfully, there are many ways to achieve this goal, such as by using price comparison sites to see which providers are giving you the best deal, or turning to more efficient forms of energy, such as solar energy.
- Consider investing. Investing is another great way to better your financial situation, especially as it provides you with a passive income stream. However, you should also be mindful of the fact that investing comes with risk, and you must make an informed, calculated decision when putting your money down. However, some markets are more consistent and fruitful than others, such as property investment. You can discover more by looking into finding an investment property in your local area.
- Put together a budget. The key to saving money often lies in your ability to better understand (and therefore manage) your spending habits. As a result, now is the time to pull together a monthly or weekly budget, and ensure that you stick to it. By budgeting, you’re ensuring that you spend every cent wisely, and your bank account will definitely thank you for this.
- Start putting money into your savings. Adding money to your savings account is also a great way to improve your financial situation, due to the fact that it gives you something to rely on should things go wrong. Adding money to your account on a regular basis (i.e monthly) will provide you with better security, especially when you consider the fact that “51% of Americans had less than three months’ worth of living expenses in their emergency funds.”
- Turn your hobbies into a side hustle. Finding ways to make a profit from your hobbies, such as by turning them into a side hustle can also improve your financial situation. After all, if you’re already going to be dedicating a lot of time and energy to your hobbies, you may as well earn some money along the way. Thankfully, there are many profitable hobbies out there – from photography to sketching to writing. To succeed, you must simply find your niche and figure out how to market yourself so you can build up a client base.
- Participate in paid focus groups. Participating in paid focus groups, or filling out surveys is an easy way to make some extra money without overburdening yourself. This is because it gives you the chance to earn some cash by simply giving your opinion. You can even fill in these surveys during your commute or drinking your morning coffee – as many take less than ten minutes to complete.
- Ensure you’re getting paid what you deserve. No matter what stage of your career you’re in, it’s important that you are being paid appropriately for your time, skills, and energy. As a result, now may be the perfect time to consider asking your employer for a raise. While this can be daunting, you’ll never know unless you ask. However, you should ensure that you go into the conversation with confidence, and a list of reasons why you think you deserve a raise. For example, you could compare your current salary to other salaries of similar roles, or refer back to previous successes within the company.
- Work on debt repayment. Whether you have to repay student loans or credit card debt, it’s important that you dedicate yourself to this cause in 2023. After all, once you are living debt-free, you’ll also find that you have much more cash to spare, and you’ll no longer be living under a cloud of worry and anxiety. Furthermore, paying off debt sooner rather than later reduces the amount of extra money you’ll have to pay in interest – putting you on the cusp of financial stability sooner, rather than later.