5 ways to make yourself richer in 2023

Authored on
09 Jan 2023



The new year is here and January is a month for staying in, hiding from the weather, and eating the remainder of the Christmas chocolate. But while you’re doing that you could spare a few minutes each day (or week) to get your finances in order for the year. If you spend a bit of time now, you could reap the benefits for the rest of the year. So here’s our five step plan to a richer 2023.

Step 1: Tackle the festive hangover

Christmas is a pricey old time and it’s no surprise that more people turn to credit cards, creep into their overdraft or use some savings to get them through the festive period. If that’s the case then there’s no point beating yourself up about it now, just work out a plan to fix the damage. Whether that’s looking at your credit card statement and working out how much you need to repay each month to clear it, or prioritising topping up your emergency savings pot so that it’s looking full and healthy again by summer.

If you have debt on high interest (as lots of credit card and overdraft tends to be) then hunt around for a cheaper deal. If your interest charges each month are lower it means more of your money will go towards repaying the actual debt, rather than just paying off the interest.

Step 2: Ditch cash accounts that are giving you nothing

One big good news story of 2022 was that cash accounts started paying a decent level of interest – lots are at the highest rates for 10 years. Granted, inflation is still eating up a lot your money, but that’s all the more reason you need your cash accounts to be paying you as much as possible. But thanks to banks being sneaky and often not passing on rate rises to existing customers, lots of people aren’t benefitting from this rates war and their money is sitting in accounts earning nothing.

If this is you, you need to ditch and switch. Ditch the account that’s paying you nothing and switch to the best rate. Check out websites like Moneyfacts or MoneySavingExpert to see the current top deals, whether you want easy-access, regular savers or a fixed-term account, and then apply for the right one for you. Thanks to the wonder of technology it’s now astonishingly quick to open a new account and transfer money into it (I did it recently and it took literally a few minutes while I was waiting for the kettle to boil).

Step 3: Confront your toxic money traits

Everyone has them but make 2023 the year you acknowledge them (and hopefully ditch them). Whether it’s online shopping late at night, having direct debits coming out of your account for things you no longer use or overpaying for things you know you could get cheaper – tackling these will make you richer in 2023.

And while you’re at it you could adopt some new healthy habits, like using cashback websites when you shop online, to get a little bit of money back each time (This was my financial resolution in 2022 and I was surprised how much I made). Or switching your phone contract to a SIM-only deal rather than automatically getting the latest handset (this can save big bucks even if you only keep your old handset for a year). Chat to your friends about their financial hacks to get some inspo.

Step 4: Sort out your pension

I get it, pensions are boring. When you’re saving for something that is decades away it’s pretty hard to get excited about it. But your future self will thank you for it and you could be missing out on free money – everyone loves free money!

First you need to check if you’re enrolled in your company scheme and also whether you’re maximising your employer matching. This is where your employer will match (or sometimes double) your contributions up to a certain level. If you’re not up to this limit (and you can afford to contribute more) then you’re missing out on free money from your employer.

The next thing to do is track down old pensions from previous jobs – anyone who has job hopped will probably have little pots they have forgotten about. Dig out old paperwork and contact the provider or you can use AJ Bell’s pension finder or the Government’s Pension Tracing Service. Once you’ve got all the information you could consolidate your pension into one pot or just keep track of them where they are – up to you.

The final step of the pension sortout is to see what you’re invested in and work out if you’re happy with it. Lots of people stick to the ‘default’ fund, which is where your money is put if you don’t make a selection yourself. But you can move it and get more involved in the investment choices if you want to – it’s a good way to take a first step into investing .

Step 5: Start investing – even with a tiny amount

You could make 2023 the year you start investing – or the year you ramp up your investing if you’ve already got started. On AJ Bell and Dodl (and other platforms) you can start investing from as little as £25 a month with our regular investment service, which is a great way to get started and learn the ropes. If you can spare that money each month (or more) then you can try it out and build up from there.

You can automate the process, so you automatically fund your investment account each month and then automatically invest in a fund, share or tracker of your choice. It’s a good way to take the hassle out of investing, and means you don’t have to remember to do it each month.

Remember that the value of investments can change, and you could lose money as well as make it. How you're taxed will depend on your circumstances, and tax rules can change. Pension rules apply. 

These articles are for information purposes only and are not a personal recommendation or advice.