TOP TIPS TO GET AHEAD OF THE GAME IN 2018

MANAGE YOUR INCOME VS. EXPENDITURE

Remember if you get paid early in December try not to spend until the end of the month, you still have your January bills to cover.
• Some of us may have a Self Assessment Tax bill in the household as well looming (31st January is the dreaded date to pay your Self Assessment tax and any payment on account for the next year).
• If you have a Self Assessment bill you can have it added to next years PAYE code, as long as:
• You owe less than £3,000 on your tax bill;
• You already pay tax through PAYE (Ie you are an employee or you get a pension income etc);
• You submitted your paper tax return by 31 October or your online tax return by 31 December.

• Don’t forget those bills for Council Tax, Utility Bills, Rent / Mortgage, Maintenance, car running costs etc. See if you can switch any of these outgoings onto Direct Debit, to benefit from slightly lower monthly amounts, as well as spreading payments across the year to help cashflow.
• If you are falling behind on any bills then it is best to contact your provider and advise them of this, rather than have them send red bills or refer you to debt. Most companies if they know you are having difficulties will try and provide options to help you, so don’t be ashamed to ask for help.
• Clear down your Gift App, you can then start getting in the habit of using this through the year for birthdays and anniversaries, when you have or see a gift that would be an ideal present just add it.
• Remember whenever shopping online to go via your chosen Cashback site, be it for birthday presents, insurance, changing utility providers or mobiles, holidays, or even your weekly shop, there is cashback to be had on almost everything.
• Look at transferring any credit cards where you are paying interest to one that can offer you 0% over a few years, as the transfer fee may more than likely be considerably less than the monthly interest.
• Consider doing more shopping online including food shopping even if you have one delivery a month for large, heavier and non perishable items it could save you time and money.
• Open a new savings account and start putting something way each month towards next Christmas, to save money towards your presents, so that the shopping trip may actually turn out to be a fun day.
• Take advantage of January Sales, purchasing items in advance like wrapping paper, Christmas cards, decorations etc if they were on your desirable list this year. Why pay full price when you can save.
• Throughout the year try not to use any supermarket loyalty rewards each quarter. Save them all up to use in December, you will notice that one larger saving more than the smaller ones through the year.
• Add some dates to your diary:

September/October

– Write List of people you need to Buy Gifts for, setting a budget next to them all;
– Add items to a watch list as you may see some gifts reduced before you would normally start shopping, thereby spreading the cost of Christmas over a few months;
– You will be well prepared for events like Black Friday which now lasts many days.

November

– Write Christmas cards early, to post them all 2nd class at the beginning of December, or even get the opportunity to hand delivery some when catching up with people. Small wins soon add up.

We may be accountants and you may think of us as being Tax advisers – but here at Blue Skies we like to think you also see us as friends.

So if you need help because you may be struggling financially then give us a call. There may be things you want to plan for in the future, that we (being different to many other accountants) can help advise you going forwards. Planning for the future rather than just processing your receipts for the previous year.

Merry Christmas To You All!