The start of a new year is a time to take stock and think about the goals you want to set for the months ahead. Most people will have a list of New Year's resolutions as long as their arm, but this year why not make them really count? Getting fit, losing weight and quitting smoking are all well and good, but focusing on your financial health could be an even better plan.
It seems a lot of people are already in that mindset. According to research from pensions provider Friends Life, 75% of those surveyed believe that financial planning will be important to them over the year ahead while 37% have actually made improving financial management a New Year's resolution.
Retirement planning and pension savings are the top financial planning concerns, but happily some 32% of respondents are more confident about their financial futures than they were this time last year. This, coupled with an increased desire to focus on finances, paints a positive picture for the year ahead.
Further research from Experian reinforces the need to make financial planning a top priority. They found that young Britons stand to benefit most from taking a fresh look at their finances, with 26% of 25-34 year olds surveyed having overspent on credit or store cards whilst a further 18% have struggled to make repayments on large purchases, and 38% have failed to make repayments on time.
This could seriously affect credit scores and future financial stability, so the start of a new year is a great time to take control and have a savvier outlook for 2014. Budgeting, finding the best deals on everyday expenditure (such as utilities and insurance) and making a concerted effort to pay into pensions and savings accounts should be high on the list of priorities, ensuring financial planning is one resolution that isn't forgotten by the end of the month.
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