Ireland’s Guide To Money And Living

New year, new you

New Year Resolution

As far as New Year’s resolutions go, wanting to become more financially stable always tops the list. Whether you want to save for that special something or you’d just appreciate the security of a rainy day fund, the new year is the perfect starting point for that first step. While many overwhelm themselves by trying to accomplish too much, there are ways you can double the benefit of your renewed motivation and incorporate your other goals into saving money.

Quit smoking

Every January Irish smokers plaster on the nicotine patches and prep the e-cigarettes in an attempt to rid themselves of this cash sucking habit. While the initial expense may seem counter productive to your money saving schemes, once you wean yourself off the smoking substitutes, a pack a day smoker could save just over €3,800 each year.

Getting fit

This has nothing to do with getting that summer body ready for a beach party in June. Instead, taking an active interest in your health and general fitness is proving to radically reduce medical costs in later life. It really is that simple. While we can’t out exercise every sniffle and sneeze, we can make real changes to our lifestyles to an extent where we lower our risk of heart disease, type 2 diabetes, osteoarthritis and even some cancers. Each of which can hand out a hefty medical bill, among other problems.

Cut the caffeine

Sometimes we spend small amounts of money so gradually that we don’t even notice where our wages have gone until, well, they’re gone! We all like to treat ourselves to that cup of tea to-go on the way to work, but cutting out that brew could save you nearly €450 a year. If you’re a coffee drinker that number could be around €700 a year! While €1 here and €2 there doesn’t appear to be a big expenditure as the old adage goes (and forgive the cliché), you need to look after the pennies and the pounds will look after themselves.

Further your career

This can seem like an obvious way to resource more money but often (after the initial pay rise has occurred) people are unaware of where the difference in their previous and present wages goes. If you’ve worked hard for that raise or promotion it’s only natural that you’ll want to treat yourself, but don’t forget you worked hard to make yourself more financially stable. It’s important to make a plan for your new income. If you decide to use a portion for savings, a portion for paying off any debt you may have and a portion for yourself in the present you’ll get both long term and short term benefits from your money.

Learn something new

How many times have we heard stories about entrepreneurial innovators who turned a simple hobby into a life-changing career? We all want to improve ourselves in some form or another and engaging in a new pastime can be an excellent way of reducing stress, with the possibility of it becoming a profitable side income. Many successful photographers, bloggers and novelists began their new occupations as a mere hobby before finding prosperity. However, if you’re more practically minded then perhaps learning household skills like carpentry or basic plumbing can save you huge expenses on home repairs throughout the year.

Good luck!

When not writing about all things personal finance, You & Your Money's editor Conor Forrest enjoys reading, football and getting lost in an ocean of Wikipedia articles.