So… What are you giving up for Lent?
It’s not all bad. By giving things up you create a way of saving money this spring…!
Lent is the time when many people decide to turn over a new leaf. In the Christian tradition the approach to Easter signifies a time of preparation. The idea is that making some kind of sacrifice for forty days and forty nights parallels Christ’s temptation in the desert and subsequent crucifixion. All of which has a happy ending symbolised by the celebration of Easter.
But aside from the religious implications, starting afresh at Lent makes sense in all kinds of ways. The scent of spring in the air can be energising and make us want to get up and “do something”. Also, New Year and resolutions are long behind us. If those resolutions were abandoned then now is as good a time as any to resurrect them. And if you are still sticking to some of them then well done: the good news is that they are now well established in your life as a habit.
Opinion varies on how long it takes to establish a habit, but maintaining something for 40 days is a pretty good start!
So, back to our original question, what are you giving up for Lent?
Common answers are likely to include alcohol, smoking, swearing or chocolate. Which can all be challenging in their own way.
But many people also look at Lent as a more positive time; a time to start doing something worthwhile. One shining example of this is the organisation 40 Acts, which encourages people to do an act of kindness each day of Lent.
Some may choose to renew their efforts at making more time for other worthy pursuits such as family, friends, community, exercise or learning. Another area that many people want to improve is their finances.
But what kind of things can you do to get your finances back on track? How can you achieve some quick wins?
Try these Five Steps:
Sort out all your paperwork
It’s a job we all hate! But it’s also horrible to know there is this mass of information that you need to sort through, and until you do that you won’t really know where you stand financially. So take a deep breath and sort through everything.
Make a list of all your financial commitments
You can do this on paper or computer or phone – whichever is easiest for you. But make a list of everything to do with money: savings / debts / regular payments. Seeing a summary of information all together in one place really helps you to get your mind round the current state of your finances.
Set yourself some financial goals
Now you have that overall picture you can start thinking realistically about what you want to do and by when. Pay off debts? Save a certain amount of money – perhaps for something special? Buy a house or car? It is good to have financial goals rather than just drifting along without any sense of direction.
Create a budget
Now you know what you are aiming for and how your finances currently stand, you need to draw up a monthly budget that will enable you to live from month to month whilst starting to work towards your financial goals. This may mean some lifestyle changes – for example either as you cut down on certain things or try to raise more income. For more details on how to do this, see our article Top Ten Tips to Balance your Budget.
Stay on the case
If you do all the above then you will already have a greater sense of control over your finances and you will definitely be moving in the right direction. But you will need to be determined and stay on the case: like being on a diet it is very easy to start slipping back into bad habits! Careful financial management is a lifelong commitment – but it will be well worth it.
If at any of the above stages you feel that a small loan would help you to get your finances back on track then do feel free to get in touch with us at Loans2Go. We offer loans between £250 and £1,000 (£500 for new customers) over a period of 18 months and you can repay in weekly, fortnightly or monthly instalments. If your application is accepted, we aim to get your money into your bank account within 60 minutes of approval.
To find out more, apply online or call us on 0330 400 0403.
Check back here soon for more financial and lifestyle tips from Loans 2 Go.