What should your financial priorities be in 2013?

finance-2013

Few people expect the economic climate of the early years of the Century to return and even fewer expect the casual way in which everyone handled their finances in those years to return either. The shock of unemployment and falling real estate prices caused by the Collateralized Debt Obligation (CDO) problems is a lesson that will take years to forget.

CDOs fuelled real estate prices; the volume of subprime lending is a thing of the past. The repercussions of business failure and the consequent unemployment resulted in many households losing their major income and credit scores dropped. In these circumstances as recovery is underway everyone should resolve to look at their household budget and see what improvements can be made, either more money coming in or less going out.

The positive side, income

Some people survived the problems of unemployment and have retained their regular income while others have bounced back into a job. While not suggesting that the economy is back to pre crisis levels it is worth looking to see if you are properly paid for your efforts or if there are better options available. This is not advice to go and bang on the boss’s door for a pay rise but it is worth a little research to check your effort is being rewarded.

There are other income streams available, many on a part time basis, if the money coming into the home each month is struggling to pay the bills. The internet is a good source of ideas if you think you have the spare time to look for opportunities.

Reducing liabilities

There are perhaps two ways to look at this; the first is to cut down on spending in general, the second is to look to see whether you can find cheaper alternatives to some essentials such as utility bills and insurance. Once again the internet is ideal for general research.

Is your bank offering you a good deal or can you find a more financially efficient option by banking elsewhere? There is no one answer to this but it is worth looking at everything to see if savings can be made. Loyalty is a thing of the past and is certainly a one way thing when it comes to banks and the loyalty is not coming your way anytime soon.

Credit cards are very convenient but potentially very costly. It is essential that monthly spending is completely settled so as not to incur high interest charges. If you have maintained a good credit score and used your credit card properly there will be several alternative cards so it is worth asking the question whether you have the best possible deal. The internet is once again somewhere to look. There are a host of comparative websites on credit cards, banks and lenders with all their offers available online. It is worth having a look.

Economies on regular spending

Everyone has been affected by the recent financial problems. As demand reduced discounts became an important factor in everyday life. They are still there and ‘shopping around’ will certainly give you some benefits. That applies to everything from daily groceries to gas for the car, from things for the home to vacations.

Nothing has been immune.

Think

It is always worth thinking whether you need it. ‘It’ can be anything. There is nothing wrong is having patience; waiting for the time when you can really afford a purchase. That certainly was an alien concept when it was only a matter of taking out the credit card. If you can still take it out and pay the bill in full at the end of the month without stretching yourself elsewhere then fine. Otherwise wait! It is a simple rule and not really difficult if you have a new mindset; financial responsibility, the priority for 2013.

One Response to What should your financial priorities be in 2013?

  1. Emma says:

    Great article,thanks!2013 is certainly my year to consider my finances..eek!

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