Here are seven ways to get your money back in 2023

Christmas may be great for the spirit, but it’s usually less friendly to our wallets. Now that the ultimate turkey sandwich has been chewed and all the presents opened, many of us will now increase the potential hit on our finances.

This could be particularly painful this year due to the cost of living crisis, as higher daily expenses reduce the amount left to spend.

As bleak as things may seem, there are plenty of ways to feel more in control of your finances — with the fresh start the New Year offers making now the perfect time to start.

Many of these will be familiar, such as the importance of budgeting and how investing can be a way to build long-term wealth, provided you take risks into account.

While times are tough right now when it comes to our finances, there are plenty of ways to feel more in control of your money.

We’ll also look at how personal finance affects us emotionally and reveal some super smart techniques you can use to boost your chances of success.

Here are seven simple ways to get your money back this year, brought to you by the smart money app Plum (available on the App Store and Google Play).

1- Debt management and repayment

Being in debt isn’t a pleasant feeling, and dealing with a lot of it can get overwhelming.

If you’re looking to settle your debt, you should usually start with loans that carry the highest interest rate — known as the Annual Percentage Rate, or APR.

These usually take the form of credit card arrears (i.e. a revolving credit card balance that you’re struggling to settle) or an overdraft.

You may want to seek advice on consolidating your debt to see if you can negotiate a lower interest rate. It is important to make a proper assessment before consolidating your debts, as there may be upfront costs and fees, and to ensure that you do not receive rates higher than what you are currently paying on your debts.

A 0% balance transfer credit card may also be an option.

2 – Build a rainy day fund

A rainy day fund is a pool of savings that can be used to cover unexpected costs, such as sudden home repairs, or to pay for everyday expenses if you lose your job.

Experts usually recommend building up at least three months’ worth of your regular spending and keeping it in an easy-to-access savings account so you can get there quickly.

A rainy day fund serves as a safety net, allowing you to easily weather short-term financial instability by reducing the risk of falling into debt or having to sell any investments at a loss.

You’ll also feel so much better knowing you have a nest egg that you can fall back on if you ever need it.

Plum tries to make saving as fun as possible, with clever tricks to help you put more aside

Plum tries to make saving as fun as possible, with clever tricks to help you put more aside

3 – Make saving fun!

We’d likely do more work if we found it easier, right? The same goes for saving, which is why Plum has put so much effort into making the process as pleasant and painless as possible.

The app connects to your bank account to get a full view of your spending, before using artificial intelligence to see how much you can save and automatically putting this aside for you each week. You can also link more than one bank account or even your credit card accounts for a smarter and more personalized experience.

Deposit automation can help reduce the temptation to spend money on things you don’t really need. Plum also “plays” the savings process with a series of fun and clever tricks like Rainy Days – which automatically provides extra cash every day it rains where you live; and Round Ups, which will round your transactions to the nearest £1 and save the difference.

You can choose to save money in the 1.95% AER* Interest Pocket, where deposits of up to £85,000 are protected by the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS) and – unlike some savings accounts out there – pay compound interest. Please note that the pricing offered by Plum may change in the future.

There are also non-interest earning pocket collateral, such as the primary pocket, which is protected by electronic money protection rules.

4 – Setting long-term goals

Goals can be a powerful motivator, and this applies to personal finance as much as it does any other aspect of life.

Setting a goal to achieve, whatever it is, can help reframe the way you approach money—when you begin to see how every decision you make can affect your financial health.

For example, if you set yourself a goal of saving for a home deposit, you might consider spending money on things you don’t really need.

Working toward a specific goal, with a clear vision of how to achieve it, can also improve your health by making you feel more in control of your future.

5 – Set yourself a budget

If you are looking to boost your finances, it is important to get a good idea of ​​your current situation. First, look at your bank statements to calculate your average monthly income, then add up any fixed expenses — like rent and phone bills.

You can then decide how much you want to set aside to meet your needs, wants, and savings. One technique diligent savers use is the 50/30/20 rule — spending 50% of your income on your needs, 30% on your desires, and the remaining 20% ​​on saving for the future.

The Plum Card can be used anywhere Visa is accepted, and there are no fees for using it abroad other than Visa's daily exchange rate.

The Plum Card can be used anywhere Visa is accepted, and there are no fees for using it abroad other than Visa’s daily exchange rate.

An effective budget requires understanding how much money you’re spending and on what.

Plum makes this process even easier with the new Plum Card – the latest asset in its suite of money management tools.

You can load your card with a fixed amount from your linked bank or Plum account – making budgeting easier than ever.

Debit card is backed by a dedicated section of the app, meaning you can manage your card, track purchases, set weekly or monthly budgets, and access spending details all in the same place as your savings and investments.

The Plum Card can be used anywhere Visa is accepted, and there are no fees for using it abroad other than Visa’s daily exchange rate.

6 – Check your bills

One in seven customers still pay a loyalty penalty to stick with their broadband or mobile provider, according to Citizens Advice.

Now may be a good time to look at your suppliers and see if you can get a better deal elsewhere.

You can find out how much you’re spending on regular bills by reviewing your bank statements before using comparison sites to see if you can pay less elsewhere.

Instead, Plum’s AI can help by automatically scanning your bills to check your expenses and suggest cheaper interest options where possible, based on information available from your connected bank account.

If you want to take more risk with your money in hopes of achieving a higher return, Plum allows you to invest in a hand-picked selection of mutual funds and over 2,000 company shares (capital at risk)

If you want to take more risk with your money in hopes of achieving a higher return, Plum allows you to invest in a hand-picked selection of mutual funds and over 2,000 company shares (capital at risk)

7 – Start investing

Once you’ve paid off your debts and built up a cash savings reserve, investing can be a way to grow your wealth over the long term.

This is especially true if you reinvest any income you get from your investments, otherwise known as dividends, to harness the huge potential of compounding.

Although compounding returns in the long run can help your money work harder, always remember that this method only works best for you when you give it a long period of time. In the short term, it may not be the best option for you.

If you decide to invest in funds with Plum, a stock and stock ISA may be a good place to start, as all capital gains and dividends are tax deductible. This means that more of your earnings can accrue and grow, rather than being eaten up by taxes.

Plum lets you get started from just £1, with a hand-picked selection of investment funds – which you can see here – grouped by theme and risk level.

You can also invest in fractional shares of up to 2,000 of the world’s best-known companies. A fractional stake is when you own less than a full stake in a company, allowing you to invest in companies that would otherwise be very expensive.

Although some fees still apply, all of these trades are commission free. **

* Easy access interest pockets are provided by Investec Bank Plc.

** Regulatory fees and other foreign exchange fees still apply.

Capital is at risk if you invest. You should not invest in or deal in any financial product unless you fully understand it and the risks involved. If you automate and invest, you should be satisfied with your appropriate choices given your financial situation and circumstances.

Plum does not provide investment advice and individual investors should make their own decisions or seek independent advice. Investments can go up or down in value and you may get a return less than your original investment.

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