There is never a bad time to take control of your finances and plan for a more productive financial future. This is something that a lot of people say they are going to do but when the time actually comes for people to be proactive, it can slip from their mind or get lost amongst the mountain of other tasks that they have to take care of. However, the start of a New Year is often the best time to make a change because January is seen as a clean slate for a lot of people.

If you make changes to your life in January you can be confident that it is not just you who is making changes at this time of year, many people are. This means that there is safety in numbers and there will be people you can turn to for support and guidance. If you are looking to manage your finances in the best possible manner, you will find that the start of 2017 is the best time to take control of your finances.

One of the best tips for taking control of your finances is to track your spending. You may be surprised at how much money you actually spend without thinking or knowing what benefit you get in return. A really good way to take control of your spending is to write down everything that you spend for an entire month. Taking the whole of January to write down everything you spend, to the very last penny, will give you great insight into your spending habits and you may be surprised at how much money you actually spend.

Create a financial plan

This is a very good starting place to do a budget and create a financial plan. You want to bring in more money than you spend and a budget is a fantastic way to plan ahead and be confident about your finances. If you are keen to manage your finances, you’ll find that a budget and keeping a close eye on your finances is the smartest way to stay on track with your money.

Another step that is related to this is making a list or a calendar of your bills. It is vital that you know what money you need to have to pay bills and to have enough money to pay these bills when they arise. This is something you can do a month ahead of time or on a week to week basis. When it comes to planning ahead, you need to find the pattern and strategy that suits your needs best. What works for one person may not work for you so don’t panic if there is a solution that doesn’t seem to fit your needs exactly.

You must take action

However, the worst thing you can do is do nothing. You need to be honest about your finances and you have to take steps to ensure that you are aware of all of your bills and that you know when you need to have access to money. If you can provide yourself with this platform you should find that 2017 will be a more productive and happier year for you, at least with respect to finances.

One tip that many people are following is to use cash more and give yourself a limit. Having contactless options or debit card options can be convenient but they aren’t necessarily going to boost your chances of staying in control of your chances. In fact, if you are spending without stopping to think about your finances, you may find you are harming your finances. Take the time to know your expenditure and don’t automatically stick everything on to a card.

If you are running short one month and you need short term assistance you will find that a guarantor loan may be of benefit. One of the best things about a guarantor loan is the fact that it is open to all people and it doesn’t really matter what your credit score says. If you are able to find someone who is willing to vouch for you, the lender will look at their credit score, not yours. This gives more people a chance of obtaining a loan at an affordable APR.

Managing your finances in 2017 doesn’t have to be a difficult process but if you take the right steps, it will become a whole lot easier.

Andrew Reilly is a freelance writer with a focus on news stories and consumer interest articles. He has been writing professionally for 9 years but has been writing for as long as he can care to remember. When Andrew isn’t sat behind a laptop or researching a story, he will be found watching a gig or a game of football.