23 February 2018

How to become financially fit all year round

Financial fitness - February banner

Everyone knows keeping physically fit is important but you can apply the same discipline to your finances.

Just as you might put together a training plan for your body, this series will look at what you can do regularly to keep your finances in tip-top shape. And February is a great time to start.

We'll be looking at how to maintain your financial goals month-by-month, offering 'must-do' actions and solutions to the challenges each month can throw at us. Hopefully by the end of the year your financial fitness will have improved.

If you do nothing else in February make sure you:

  1. Use technology in your financial fitness regime

  2. Set your savings goal for the year

  3. Reward yourself at the end of the month

1. Use technology in your financial fitness regime

Nationwide's Banking App has useful features that can help you maintain your financial fitness plan.

For example, the 'Quick Balance' feature lets you check you've got enough money to pay for something, without even logging in. And 'Impulse saver' is a quick way to move money from your Nationwide current account to your savings account helping you to stay the course and reach your financial goals.

You can read more on how fintech could help you achieve your goals in Casey’s latest blog.

2. Set your savings goal

A saving strategy that motivates you is one that feels honestly achievable, rewards you occasionally, and offers monthly targets that break down the entire year's financial resolutions into short, simple steps.

Check exactly how much you need to achieve your aim. If you're saving for a new car, make sure you're including all the unavoidable extra costs like insurance. If it's for a holiday, include things like spending money, car hire and travel insurance. This provides focus, makes targets achievable which motivates you for the next challenge.

Don't be overambitious. Setting a savings goal that makes a real impact on your finances will be more effective than multiple resolutions. All that matters is the result, so focus on that realistic goal.

You can even use the 'Savings Goal' feature on Nationwide's Banking App. You input how much you want to save and by when and it'll suggest how much you need to save daily, weekly or monthly.

3. Reward yourself at the end of the month

So you’ve successfully got to the end of the month, well done!

Small, regular rewards will help maintain your goals and motivate you. Calculate how much your plan will allow you to save this year. If its £200 a month, or £2,400 a year, use 10%, £20 a month, for a monthly treat and a further 10% quarterly for a bigger treat, say £60, four times a year. This will reduce your annual savings of £2,400 by £480, but you still save £1,920.

Help along the way

To keep you going, learn techniques to help you overcome difficult moments when your resolve is weak. Try and visualise what sticking to your resolutions will mean. If you're saving for a holiday, picture yourself sitting on a palm-fringed beach, relaxing and enjoying your holiday.

Find out more and become a super-saver.

Check back next month for your FinFit must do’s in March!

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