In 2012, an impressive 60% of people in Britain were happy with their finances.
Those who did have financial regrets, however, most regretted:
- Not saving enough (32%)
- Not paying off more debt (23%)
- Not paying into a pension (7%)
- Spending too much on a partner (4%)
- Not buying a property (4%).
That's why thinkmoney has put together this quick guide to avoiding some of these financial regrets in 2013.
Two of the top five regrets were about saving - both long and short term.
If you find saving difficult, our suggestion is to save automatically as soon as you get paid. If you get paid at the end of the month, for example, consider setting up a Direct Debit to go into your savings account on the first of the next month. Having money automatically disappear into savings each month as soon as it hits your account means that you're less likely to miss it.
Don't save more than you can afford to, of course. You'll have to look over your budget carefully and figure out how much you could save. Even if it's just £10, at least it's £10 every month, which can really add up.
Use important savings goals to motivate you to put a bit more aside each month - for example building up the deposit on a house. Calculate how much you could save in a year to spur you on.
The same method can be applied to long-term savings - for example your pension. Saving into a pension has just become a bit easier for many workers, who'll be automatically enrolled. If you choose to stay in your workplace pension, you can use your budget to decide how much you'll save into it each month. Again, you could set it up to leave your account so you won't 'miss' the money. And remember - your employer pays into it when you do, which can be a big motivation to save that little bit more.
If you want to repay more of your debts this year, you'll have to look at your budget again. After your important costs like your mortgage, food, fuel and bills, how much do you have left over?
You might decide to forego some costs such as socialising - and maybe save a bit less for a few months - in order to put more towards your debts. That way they'll be repaid more quickly.
Of course, if you're actually getting into real difficulty repaying, you should talk to a debt professional as soon as you can.
If you need a bit of help...
If your finances are complicated, you find it difficult to set up your own budget - or you just don't really want to - the thinkmoney Personal Account has a built-in service that will budget for you.
Your dedicated Money Manager could help you set up Direct Debits towards your savings, debts, bills and other costs to make sure they're all covered each month. The money left over then goes to you - and it's yours to spend how you like.
If all your finances are managed automatically, you're much less likely to have any financial regrets at the end of 2013.