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Improve Your Finances with Short and Long-Term Savings Methods

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Want to make some changes in your lifestyle and finances this winter, and moving into the new year? Here are some examples of varying long and short term finance savings methods and goals. As well as some of the things that you can do in order to achieve them.

Long term goals – Establishing an aim to your savings

To start off with, one of the best ways to get motivated and driven to fix your finances is by sitting down and drawing up a plan. With a clear end point to aim towards. Whether it’s something simple, such as a holiday or car payment, or something more substantial and long-term. Such as paying off your mortgage or planning for retirement, it will give context

Remember – You should also make sure that you have any outstanding debts or payments in order before going forward with different saving strategies or investments.

Short term goals – Establishing a financial buffer

One of the main reasons for saving and investing finances is to prepare yourself for the future. And give yourself peace of mind with regard to money. Get yourself to a level of financial stability by getting a ‘rainy day fund’ to fall back on, and you’ll soon feel less stressed at the end of each month if funds are low.

Remember – Many people see it as a failure if they have to dip into their savings or rainy day fund, but you shouldn’t, as that’s what they’re there for! Instead, be happy that you have any savings in the first place, and that you had the foresight to prepare in case of financial struggles or emergency.

Long term goals – Building an investment portfolio

If you’ve established a solid income base, and want to start putting your money to work for itself rather than leaving it to fester in an account, it might be a good time to start looking into different investment strategies. The most successful investors have ties to many different pockets of investment, as diverse as possible. This means that if any of their investments fall back on each other, their finances will stay afloat, rather than all collapsing in a domino effect due to being too interconnected.

Featured Investment Strategy – Property Investment

If as an investor you have the relevant amount of capital available, the UK property market is extremely healthy at the moment. RWinvest, a company with over 15 years of experience in the property market. They acknowledge the North Western city of Liverpool as one of the best prospects currently. Not only are its varied areas and postcodes among some of the most lucrative for yields in the entire country. Also house prices are affordable for the starting investor, and promise significant growth in the years to come.

Remember – Particularly if you’re investing in an asset class that is known to be volatile, such as stocks and shares, investment can be a risky endeavour when uninformed. If you’re not sure of the right steps to take with your investment, seek advice from professionals, and don’t act on impulses when serious money is involved. Additionally, remember to try to balance this with always looking forward. The early bird catches the worm, and if you spend your time following market trends that have already been invested in, you’ll never make as much as you could be doing.

Short term goals – Making efficient usage of your time

Staying productive and making the most of your free time is another thing you should start doing when trying to establish different goals. While this doesn’t mean that you should burn yourself out by spending every waking free moment working. Rather than relaxing or unwinding, you should use your time on your finances efficiently.

Spend a lot of time on your smartphone, scrolling needlessly through social media or playing games? There are a ton of productive apps that can help you to learn to become more financially savvy when you’ve got a few minutes to spare. Finance blog The Big Investment listed Mint, Cleo and Robin hood as some of the most interesting ones to look at.

Short term goals – Putting your family first

To finish, something that you should always keep in mind, to avoid running into more financial trouble. Rather than freedom, is keeping your priorities in order. This also sort of links in with the financial buffer point mentioned earlier. Having a long term goal in mind is a great strategy for motivation, and will help you to work towards a goal. you also need to stay aware of any possible issues or family urgencies that could arise. Ultimately, most of us save money in order to give peace of mind to ourselves and to support our families. So don’t go investing all of your money at their expense.

Quickfire round – Savings challenges to try in 2020

Often testing yourself and making a game out of saving can be a good way of getting motivated. To finish off, here are some quick-and-simple savings techniques to get your finances started going into 2020:

The 30-day ‘envelope’ method

Impulse purchases on things you don’t need can be a killing blow to your finances. Particularly on payday when your bank balance has you feeling untouchable. This method suggests that you stop dead in your tracks when about to buy that new pair of trainers, for example; instead putting the money in an envelope to one side to ‘cool off’ for 30 days. If at the end of this period you’re still after the item, then treat yourself, but if not, you’ve just saved the money and can put it into a savings account for later.

The 52-week challenge

Here’s an endurance savings test that could get a little tricky in the December months. The idea is that you save one pound a week for each of the 52 weeks in the year. Starting off with £1 and ending out the year at £52. In total, you’d save a decent £1,378. Worried that you won’t be able to afford Christmas presents? Perhaps start in reverse, making it easier for yourself as you go along. You could just save a nominal, affordable amount like a normal person, but where’s the fun in that?

The classic ‘Jar’ or ‘Piggy Bank’ method 

Want to make some different changes to your lifestyle in the new year, such as getting fitter or reducing your swearing? The classic ‘rainy day fund’ or ‘swear jar’ is a fun, easy savings idea. With a visual reminder that acts as an incentive. If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. And if it is broke, don’t fix it either. Once that piggy bank has been smashed and the funds deposited, you won’t be able to glue it back together.