Thanks to the pandemic, 2020 has been a turbulent year for many aspects of our lives, but it has affected a lot of people’s finances. The Finance Team here at The Boar have come up with some financial resolutions to guide them as they enter 2021.
Lily Thwaites, Finance Editor
I like to think I’m generally quite good with my money but the pandemic, whilst reminding me how important it is to have some money aside for worst case scenarios, has also led me to ‘treating myself’ and spending a little more than I usually would online. I don’t regret this because spending on a few treats to survive the pandemic was necessary for my mental health. However, hopefully the New Year will see things beginning to go back to normal, so I’d like to get back on track with my finances. I’d love to travel when it’s safe to do so, so I’d like to start putting away a set percentage of my pay checks each month and ensure that I stick to a monthly spending budget, so that I can save up some cash.
To make sure I stick to a monthly budget, and keep track of my spending, I plan on tracking my purchases each month and going over them at the end of each month to check where I may have spent more than I needed to. That said, I still plan to treat myself occasionally! If restaurants open again, you can bet I’ll be going out to the pub, and I think we all deserve to buy ourselves a few drinks.
Something I’ve been thinking about for a while is getting a credit card to work on my credit score, so this year I’d like to look into this in more depth and finally get one. I hope to find one that works for me and that in the longer term this might help me work towards my life goals like owning a house. It’s definitely something that scares me a little but I think as I come close to graduating, it’s time to face the adult world of credit cards!
Edouard Johnson, Deputy Finance Editor
Once I graduate university, I will have to be more financially independent, so 2021 could be a crucial step in building up to this new level of responsibility. One way that I plan to improve my financial independence is by trying to stay on top of my finances more by checking my account balances regularly to better understand how much I am spending each week and using this knowledge to cut down on unnecessary spending. At the moment, I don’t really do this as much I should and instead roughly estimate how much I’ve spent each week. However, I don’t think that this will be a sustainable approach for the future when I will have to manage a wider range of expenses, such as various utilities, car expenses, and so on.
Additionally, I have found myself using Amazon a lot this year but, in the wake of the pandemic, I would like to try to support local businesses. Therefore, I am planning on buying more products from smaller, local shops, rather than just reverting to Amazon at every opportunity. This might end up being more expensive, but every little helps to support struggling businesses during these difficult times.
Finally, I plan on trying to research into bank accounts in order to find ones that are better for me. One of my bank accounts I have had for about seven or eight years now and I’m not sure if it is still the best for my current usage. Because of this, I want to research into the current deals that banks are doing to see if there are any better options that could save me money in the long run. I might also take a look at some student discount sites, such as UNiDAYS, to see whether their deals make it worthwhile to sign up to them.
Sze Jie Soo, Deputy Finance Editor
My financial goals for 2021 are simple. The pandemic has taught me that budgeting and saving are really important life skills — if done right, it’ll serve me well in the future. In 2021, I hope to make more astute purchases (no more impulse buys!) and limit my spending on unnecessary items. Instead of purchasing an item I really like on the spot, I’ll take time to consider whether I really need the item or it’s just a trend that I’m following on the internet right now.
I have a bad habit of ordering food when I’m lazy to cook, so I hope to cut down on Deliveroo/UberEats and hopefully save lots of money here as well. I will also track my own spending on an excel sheet so I can have a better overview of my finances. I will categorise my spending accordingly, allowing me to better budget my money and adjust how much I spend. I believe debit cards like Monzo have a function that already allows categorisation of spending, so I just have to compile data from there.
That being said, I would like to treat myself once in a while or set aside money for “comfort days”. Pampering myself occasionally will also go a long way in controlling my expenditure. 2021 hasn’t been the kindest to many of us, especially students who rely on side jobs for extra cash. I truly hope that everyone out there continues to persevere throughout this tough time. Here’s to 2021 being a better year for us physically, mentally and financially!