When it comes to our finances, we live in an era of instant gratification where what you have now has more value in many people’s eyes than what you might be able to achieve in the future. Whether it’s the best car, the newest phone, lavish holidays or meals in exclusive restaurants, many people prefer to spend now and think about the consequences later. While there’s nothing inherently wrong with this kind of lifestyle if you can afford it, it does mean long-term goals often get left behind.

The truth is, if you really want to have a year that puts you on a better financial standing, it’s time to learn some new spending habits. The loan provider Wonga SA has come up with a few tips to help you save, but we thought we’d go one better by introducing you to the new approaches you can take to make 2018 your best financial year to date.

  1. Save little and often

The best way to save for the future is to put away small amounts of money every month. That’s a fact. The key is to set up a direct debit into your savings account a day or two after payday. That way, you won’t miss money you’ve never had. If you live comfortably already then saving £50, £100 or £200 a month really won’t make a difference. You may have to make very small adjustments throughout the month, but when it comes to the end of the year, those will be sacrifices you’ll be glad you made.

  1. Embrace the ‘no-spend weekend’

On the face of it, the no-spend weekend doesn’t sound like all that much fun, but once you get used to it, you’ll soon find it’s a breeze. It’s simply a case of forming new habits. The majority of weekends you’ll be out with friends, enjoying life with your other half and spending money accordingly. But we also all have weekends when the weather’s terrible, your friends are busy and you’re stuck at home on the sofa, so why not make the most of things by keeping your costs down?

Rather than buying a takeaway or taking yourself off to the shops, do some cooking, have a nice walk or tackle that DIY task you’ve been putting off for the last few weeks. Come Monday morning, you’ll be well rested and your bank balance will thank you for it.

  1. Set clear financial goals

The best way to improve your financial habits and stick to them is to set achievable financial goals. These should be goals for the short-term, such as saving enough for an emergency fund, the medium-term, like paying for a holiday, and the long-term, like buying a car or a home. If you’re not sure where to start then here are some excellent goal setting tips to help.

Have you made changes to your financial situation? What did you do and how did you do it? Please share your experiences with our readers in the comments section below. 

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