New Year’s Resolutions are, like rules, meant to be broken.
Last year, about one in five people came up with some sort of resolve on 1 January, according to a poll by YouGov .
However, separately it has also been claimed that most of us will have given up on them by 10 January.
While most of those may be along the lines of “I will never, ever mix Moscow Mules and Old Freebottom’s Black Ale again”, many will actually be concerned with work and how we expend our money.
So before we take the plunge, let’s have a look at the options, starting with the most drastic.
Should I give up my job?
If you’re miserable and you detest the people you work with, then the answer’s probably yes.
In fact there’s never been a better time to look for something new. There are more job vacancies around than there have been at any time this century, 2. 8 for every 100 jobs in existence , and unemployment is the lowest it’s been in percentage terms since 1975.
Justin Urquhart-Stewart is the co-founder of Seven Investment Management and regularly tours colleges and universities advising on personal financial resources and careers in the financial services.
He has this advice: “Polish up your CV. As well as your qualifications and business experience put in any work you do in the community. Business are increasingly having to report on their corporate social responsibility and if you do things like is to assist in your local school, that’s a phase in your favour.”
Do I deserve more fund?
Coincidentally, the new year could be the moment to ask for a pay rise.
Corinne Mills, managing director at Personal Career Management, says you need to time a request for a create around three or four months before the end of your employer’s financial year.
“That way, ” she says, “they can budget it in to the next year. If you do it too late even if they want to give you the money they simply may not be able to.
“The other thing is to know your market rate. Go online and kind in ‘Salary Guide’ and look at how much you are meant to be paid. Or look at adverts for similar postures or talk to a head hunter.
“The third thing to remember is you must have a proper conversation about this and draw up a list of all your achievements from the past year. Don’t simply tag it on to a session or do it in a chance encounter. Have a longer conversation about your career growth, and let them know that you are committed.”
Should I save more fund?
Almost certainly yes. Mr Urquhart-Stewart says: “The only way to save is to do it immediately after your pay cheque comes in. That route you can’t get your hands on it and spend it on the shopping. So put up a direct debit on payday. Put it into a tax wrapper like an Isa( individual savings account ), so the income and the growth are tax-free.”
The returns on savings at the moment are less than breathtaking. The best instant access account currently on the market, according to Moneysupermarket.com is Marcus, a retail bank owned by Goldman Sachs which is offering an interest rate of 1.5%.
The stock market has been even worse. If you had put money in the FTSE 100 indicator of top shares at the beginning of last year and reinvested the income from the dividends, by mid-December you would have lost 7.5%.
But Mr Urquhart-Stewart says: “You have to invest for the long term. If your granny had given you PS100 when you were a child, and you had set it into the stock market, 70 year later with all the income reinvested it would be worth PS1 90,000. “
Should I expend less period on my phone?
Probably. It has been estimated that people touch their phones 2,617 times a day. So it’s not hard to see how this may be a problem at work, and probably at home too.
Ms Mills says it’s her personal resolution to cut down the time she spends on social media: “It’s so addictive. You can find yourself losing period at work and also it can be very emotional, getting yourself worked up with what’s online, so it’s not good for your general wellbeing.”
There are( ironically) apps that can help you. Moment is an app that claims it can help people “gain an hour back each day by following simple strategies designed to help them re-imagine their relationship with their phone”. AppDetox get you to lock your apps, and then pesters you with vexing reminders when you transgress the locks, while Forest ties phone abstinence into a commitment to plant trees both virtual and real.
Are you ready to break up with your phone ? Image caption Image caption