Here are 7 ways I’m improving my finances in 2019.
Tracking my spending
In 2018 I tracked my spending with the help of Starling and Monzo and I plan to track it even more carefully this year. I’ve downloaded the Money Dashboard app to my phone so that I can see the balance of all my accounts in one place and track exactly what’s leaving each account, no matter where I am.
Building my emergency savings
If I keep growing my emergency fund at the same rate that I have been, I should have £5,000 by the end of 2019. This would be amazing achievement, but if I don’t manage it, I won’t beat myself up.
Dabbling with investment apps
Since my emergency fund isn’t as strong as it should be, it’d be unwise of me to invest a significant chunk of my money. However, I am going to be doing a little bit of dabbling with investment apps this year. I suppose I’m doing this because I want to play around with each platform and learn how they work, rather than as a means of building wealth for the future. I guess you could say I’m doing it for the story.
Next year I’ll start investing with the intention of actually growing my money. In the meantime, I’m just trying to expand my investment knowledge and see what options are out there.
Last year I overpaid my mortgage by a small amount each month and I’m going to continue to do that this year too. If I keep overpaying at this rate, I’m set to pay off my mortgage a couple of years earlier than originally planned. When my income grows over the years, I’ll probably throw more money at my mortgage in the hope of becoming mortgage-free even earlier.
Saving for retirement
I’m not saving as much for retirement as I should be. I’d be lying if I said this didn’t worry me a little bit – I don’t want to be living off beans and toast in my old age – but considering I’m doing other things to improve my finances and I’m not in consumer or credit card debt, I’m not going to beat myself up too much.
At the moment, my workplace pension just isn’t rewarding enough to throw tons of money at it. I’m basically paying the minimum amount each month so that I can make the most of my employer’s contribution, without paying more than I need to, if that makes sense. In the future, I might open a private pension alongside my workplace one.
In a perfect world I’d be paying more towards retirement and I do feel bad for not doing so, but I just can’t justify it when my emergency fund isn’t as healthy as I’d like it to be.
Switching bank accounts for rewards
Over the last few years I’ve gotten used to having several bank accounts open at any one time in order to make the most of the interest. One banking habit I’ve only recently started embracing is switching for a cash reward. At the end of 2018 I switched from TSB to HSBC for a £75 reward and I’m currently in the process of switching again for another bonus.
I’m planning to do this a few times throughout 2019 so I can make a bit of extra money!
Prioritising things that make me money
Since I started my blog in 2014, I’ve made a bit of money from sponsored posts and affiliate links. But I’ve also turned down so many money-making opportunities due to a fear of criticism. Well no more! I’ve spent almost 5 years helping other people to improve their finances; I deserve to improve my own too. If anyone has a problem with that, I guess no one’s forcing them to be here.