It’s that time of the year again.

Christmas has come and gone. With 2020 now officially in the rearview mirror, we’re all looking ahead to 2021 with glimmers of positivity.

Let’s face it, things can’t get much worse and we all want to make the most out of the year ahead.

Here I’m going to lay out five simple New Year money resolutions that you can actually stick too and will help you have a kick-ass year.

1) Save more

Many people who’ve managed to hold onto their jobs actually found 2020 to be a great year for saving money. Even with interest rates at historical lows.

This was because our movement was really restricted and so people spent hardly anything on holidays, going to restaurants, attending gigs and festivals.

Most who’ve saved have been pleasantly surprised by how nice it feels to actually have a bit of money in their pockets instead of living pay-cheque to pay-cheque.

For those returning to work when things pick back up, saving needs to be a priority. Everyone needs to have an emergency fund and some “f you” money.

2) Spend less

I do think it will be important to start supporting industries like hospitality and the arts once it’s possible.

However, most people need to budget better and cut out the frivolous spending that doesn’t improve their life.

There are plenty of ways to spend less by doing things like reducing our grocery bills. More than ever it’s important we all find balance and make sure that we pay ourselves first and cover our own backs before spending.

Propping up the economy is not your responsibility, so don’t feel like it’s your duty to go out and consume. Instead, shop local and just buy your regular items from local businesses.

Many big businesses have done more than okay during the pandemic, so keep your spending under control and when you do make purchases, spend wisely and locally.

3) Minimise

In the recent Christmas post I talked about selling or donating any excess gifts.

This year is probably going to still be a bit weird and with many lockdowns happening until February, it’s a good opportunity to have a proper clear out.

Minimising your house, bedroom, wardrobe, whatever is going to be good for you. Doing this will give you the motivation to stay minimal throughout the year and that’s going to help you continue to spend less and save more.

Try and make sure your home is only filled with stuff you actually use or brings you pleasure. Then during the rest of the year, you can ask yourself these simple questions before bringing in anything extra into your life:

Do I need this?
Will this improve my life or bring me pleasure?

4) Give more

Some people have done better than others during the last year. One of the best things to come out of 2020 was a renewed sense of community.

We need to try and build on that positivity and look out for each other. Those of use that are in a position to do so need to strive to give more if we can.

Lots of people and charitable organisations have been hit extremely hard. Those who were already suffering have only had their problems exacerbate by the pandemic.

You may not have money to spare yourself but I’m sure you have some extra time. Once it’s safe to do so, why not see what you can do in your local community to help out.

Perhaps check your phone to see your average screen-time on social media and commit to spending 10% of whatever that figure is doing something to help other people.

5) Invest more

Once all your bases have been covered and you’re in a secure position, now is a good a time as ever to get started investing.

The wealth divide is only growing larger. A big part of this is the fact that many people, especially millennials are choosing to stay out of the market.

This irrational fear of investing is keeping you poor. If you want to improve your life and set your family up for whatever happens in the future, you need to start making your money work for you.

The simplest thing to do is this:

Open a stocks and shares ISA with Vanguard.
Choose a broad index fund or one of their LifeStrategy funds.
Set aside a small amount each month to invest via direct debt.

Easy as that.

Happy New Year!