With 2024 underway, it’s the perfect time to dream big and plan for an amazing year. Whether you’re eyeing a summer getaway or trying to manage your monthly expenses better, London Mutual is here to help show you how. Small but meaningful steps can add up to a big difference when it comes to money, so even if you can only manage to get one or two of these habits to stick, it’s still definitely worth a go!
Building a savings habit
Do you find saving money tough? You’re certainly not alone. Whether it’s the urge to buy something you’ve wanted for ages or to order a takeaway after a tiring day, we all face these temptations. Remember, spending money is okay, but saving is also crucial.
Out of sight, out of mind
You know how it goes – as soon as we spot cash in our accounts, our fingers itch to buy all kinds of things, whether we need them or not. But don’t worry, there is a trick to it! You could always stash that money out of sight – tuck it away in a secure vault or under your bed in a shoebox. A better idea, though, could be a credit union or bank savings account. To make it easier, London Mutual can automate your savings directly from your salary or benefits. With salary or benefit deduction, an amount you choose (anything from £5 to £500 pounds a month) is automatically moved into your savings before it hits your account. Out of sight, out of mind, right?
Day by day, penny by penny.
When starting your savings journey, one common mistake is trying to be too ambitious at the start. If you can easily afford to put away hundreds of pounds each month, then great. But if it just means you need to raid those savings later in the month in order to get by, what’s the point?
For most of us, starting with a more manageable amount and increasing it gradually if we feel comfortable doing so is better. The 1p challenge is an effective way to save money. simply put some money away each day into your savings. Start with 1p, then add 2p the following day, 3p the day after, and so on.
Whether it’s climbing Everest, Landing on the Moon or achieving your financial goals, what they all have in common is that they start with a plan. At its heart, a budget is a reality check for your money. It’s a way of ensuring that your spending reflects your actual priorities and goals. It’ll be like a spotlight on your earnings and expenses, revealing where your cash goes and what you need to change to reach your goals.
Get the scoop on your expenses!
You don’t need to be an IT wizard or finance expert to make a budget. Anyone can do it.
- Start by adding up your monthly income (money coming in).
- You then do the same for all your regular expenses – household bills, groceries, transport, phone bills and so on.
- Decide which expenses are essential, which are nice to have, and which you can live without.
This will give you an idea of how much you are spending and whether you are living beyond your means.
No good at maths? Our budgeting planner makes it easy to go and will guide you through the process.
Patching up the holes
If you have pinpointed areas with room to cut back, lucky you! Think of it as free money which can stay in your pocket rather than going into somebody else’s. And if you are after some ideas, here are some places you could start:
Fakeaway at Home
Got a weakness for a cheeky takeaway? There are loads of great websites that talk you through how to make (or should we say, fake) the foods you love right at home. It’s a great way to save some cash while having a fun evening in. And whether you’re a spicy, medium or double pepperoni sort of person, you can have it exactly as you like it.
We all like to shop, but looking for deals on essentials and buying supermarket-branded items instead of general companies’ items can lower costs and save money.
Free things to do in London
One of the best things about living in London is that something different is always going on. And often, it won’t cost a penny. You can search for events that are happening in your area.
Looking for a simple way to boost your income in 2024? Unlike Del Boy, there is no need to waste time on get-rich-quick schemes. Over 1 in 4 of us aren’t claiming what we are entitled to when it comes to benefits or other help. So, it’s worth taking some time to review your benefits.
Using the Money Helper Benefits Calculator can help you understand what benefits you are entitled to for your household. This is used as guidance, so if you’re unsure, it’s worth chatting directly with an expert.
Knowing what benefits you can have can be difficult to navigate, so using Citizensadvice can help find out more about what benefits you can get with online help, face-to-face appointments, or their advice helpline to get the help you need. There are branches in Southwark and Lambeth.
Reaching your financial goals in 2024 is about smart planning and consistent action. Remember, every small step counts. Whether saving purposefully, understanding your spending, or making the most of available resources, each decision brings you closer to your dreams. At London Mutual Credit Union, we are here to support you on this journey, whether it is savings or affordable loans. Let us make 2024 a year of financial success together – and good luck!