Smart Ways To Keep Your Finances In Check This January

The festive season is a time of indulgence and luxuries, but in January it’s time to tighten the purse strings. Your finances might not be looking too healthy right now, but a bit of careful planning will mean you’re soon back on track. Here are a few things to consider for your finances this January.

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Tighten The Purse Strings

If you’ve overspent last month or accumulated some debt then now is the time to rectify this. Cut back on anything that’s not essential and use the money where it’s most needed, this will help you to quickly get back on track financially. January might be considered as a ‘clean slate’, but if you’re bringing through debt from Christmas, this should be addressed as quickly as possible.

Set Some Goals

We have a whole twelve months stretching out ahead of us. What are you going to achieve financially during this time? Maybe you want to pay off debt or save towards a summer holiday. Perhaps you want to start saving for a new car or a mortgage, or you just aim to plan your money better each month. Whatever it is, write down what you hope to achieve and then break each goal down into smaller and easy to achieve chunks. For example, if you want to plan your money better you could begin by writing out all of your income and expenditures and invest in a calendar or budgeting app to plan everything out. If you want to be debt free by December, you could work out exactly how much you’ll need to pay off each month.

Protect Yourself From Injury

The last thing you need after a financially draining Christmas is to be injured and out of work. Sometimes accidents and incidents are out of your control, but there are lots of precautions you can take against others. The start of the year is particularly bad for these kinds of things since the cold weather can lead to hazardous snow and ice. When travelling by road, you can drive safely and carefully- making sure your car is as safe as possible. Checking all of the fluid levels and switching the tyres to winter snow and ice tyres are some of the ways you can go about this. When walking in public in winter, ensure you are wearing sensible footwear with a good grip to prevent slips. If you’re injured due to the neglect of a company, putting in a personal injury claim will mean the compensation covers any medical expenses and time taken off work, so you don’t end up out of pocket. Companies like BHP law can provide experienced personal injury solicitors if you end up in this situation.

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Make the right decisions now, and you will set yourself up for a happy and prosperous new year. When it’s cold outside, and the weather is bad, it’s the perfect chance to tighten the belt and make cutbacks anyway. By the spring, you should be in a much better position financially.

Goal Setting for Kids and Teens

Children of all ages can benefit from the setting of Goals. The process alone can help clarify and focus their intentions, create a workable plan and get them started towards achievement.

This time of year is an excellent opportunity to think strategically about what you want to achieve, why you want to achieve it and how are you going to get it done. Older children can, with a little encouragement, set their own goals and plans for the future. Whilst younger kids may need a little extra support.

The step by step process explained in The Goals Workshop will allow your child or Teen to get enthusiastic about their dreams and create solid plans towards their attainment.

Some young people set major goals around rites of passage such as buying a first car, going to college or getting a job. Others can benefit from starting with smaller goals and gathering momentum and confidence from their success.

Some of the major benefits of goal setting include:

  • Providing focus on what you want
  • Considering why it is important to you
  • Working out some of the action steps necessary to get there
  • Addressing the challenges and skills needed to overcome them.
  • Providing an internal scorecard and means of celebrating success.

If you don’t know where you are going any road will take you there

If you watch children start playing an impromptu sport or game in the park, chances are the first thing they do is to put down some kind of markers for the pitch including the goals. Imagine playing basketball with no hoops. The players would just dribble around for ages till they got bored and went home.

The same can be true for many of us in life. Without clear, well defined goals, we are dribbling around with little purpose or direction.

At the start of the new school year – why not take the opportunity to talk about goals with your son or daughter and start them on the fast track to success.

The Goals Workshop is available on Kindle via Amazon here



The X Factor and Achieving Your Goals X Factor imageLove them or love them, reality talent shows such as the X Factor are a big part of popular culture. Viewers in their millions worldwide enjoy sharing ‘the journey’ and the drama of success and failure. This   article looks at what shows like the X Factor can teach us and our children about living our dreams and pursuing goals?

After the auditions, the boot camp and the final selection, the remaining contestants are left to battle it out over 12 weeks for a recording contract and a life of fame and fortune.

Imagine being in their shoes – how would you prepare to give yourself the best chance of being successful?


Over the next  90 days or so how can you get in shape to look and feel your best? What could you do to give yourself the energy to excel as well as to gain the  confidence of looking good?

Out would go the takeaways, alcohol, sugar, wheat and dairy and in would come exercise, water, lots of vegetables and good nutrition?

Q. If your future depended on it would you get up an hour earlier and go for a run or visit the gym?


How hard would you train to work on your performance, singing and dancing? Would you hang on the every word of your mentor, would you practice,  practice and practice some more?

Q. If you future depended on it would you cut back on the TV or internet to develop your skills?


How can you build the inner confidence and self belief required for outstanding achievement? Would you stay away from the naysayers who are ready to steal your dreams? Could you find time to read inspirational materials and spare a few minutes to relax or meditate?

Q. If your future depended on it would you write down your goals and visualise yourself achieving them every day?

Few of us will ever make it to the finals of a TV talent show but the principles for success remain the same. If your future depends on it (and it does) will you find the self discipline to invest the time and effort in yourself to gain the best chance of reaching your own personal goals?

After 3 months what would your health be like if you committed to exercise and eating well? Imagine the improvements to your career, school work or business if you dedicated time to developing your skills.

And consider the benefits of focussing on your goals, seeking positive mentors and inspiration and taking time to relax or meditate every day.

Why not use the X Factor as your personal training plan to reach your own goals. In 90 days you could change your body shape, write a book, launch a business, improve your grades, learn a new skill, language, hobby or whatever is within you just waiting to be expressed.

This way when you sit down to watch other people living their dreams you will have the satisfaction of knowing that you too are on your way to living yours.

The TV finalists have a very clear, defined goal within a clear, defined time frame. You  too can take that approach and write down your measurable specific goal. State your goal using positive words and in the present tense such as:

Whilst enjoying the X Factor Final I am delighted to have completed the first draft of my book / reached my ideal weight of / sold my first product online etc.

Your personal X Factor final might be just around the corner and by investing in yourself for just 90 days you are certain to be an outstanding success.

P.s. This is our 100th post on The Financial Fairy Tales Blog – please leave a comment or join us on Facebook or Twitter