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10 New Year’s Resolutions to help you save money
As we approach the end of 2016, many people will be thinking about what they want to achieve in the next 12 months. While losing weight and quitting smoking are two of the most popular choices for many, saving money is always something that a significant number of the population aim to achieve.
If you are planning to save cash in 2017, then we have put together 10 tips to help you achieve your goal and improve your finances over the course of the year. By working through these tips, in the order they have been put together, it should create a logical path to help you save money throughout the next 12 months and beyond.
Don’t already have a budget? Make one
This is an important part in helping you to save money. When you are able to see your monthly incomings and outgoings, you can see how much money you have left after tax, bills and debt repayments. You will also be able to see any areas to focus on to save money, whether it is that you are spending too much on food or you think your home insurance is a little expensive, seeing your personal monthly cash flow can help you plan financially.
Pay off debts and set a deadline for doing this
Paying off any debts you have is particularly important in order to save yourself some money and get your finances on track. High interest borrowing, such as credit cards and short term loans in particular, will need to be dealt with as soon as possible to avoid big amounts of interest being added on to repayments. If you can set a deadline for your debt repayments, try and stick to it as much as you can.
Cut down on the little expenses that soon add up
It’s nice to treat yourself every now and again but buying a lunch for work every day or buying a coffee on your way to work can soon add up. Even though you are saving money you can still treat yourself but maybe stick to a treat once a month or once a week at the most. Look into batch meal planning, investing in some good Tupperware, search the internet for good and healthy lunches you can make in 5 minutes and buy yourself a nice, travel cup so you can take your favourite beverage on the go with you.
Switch providers and check you are paying the lowest price on your bills
Are you paying the lowest price for your energy bills, house insurance, mobile phone contract and more? Spend an hour or so researching on the internet to find the best possible price based on your circumstances. Ring your current provider and tell them what you have found, they may be able to offer you an even better deal. If they can’t, switch and save yourself anything from a little to a lot a month on your household bills.
Not happy with your current salary? Change it
The amount of money you earn has a big impact on your overall finances, if you think you should be earning more or you need to earn more you could ask your boss for a raise. Pick the right time to do this and make sure you have plenty of evidence of why you deserve more money to give yourself the best opportunity possible. However, if that doesn’t work, it may be worth looking for a new job. It’s a big step to take for your career but if you get a better job that pays you more money it can be worth it.
Build up an emergency fund, just in case
Most bills and payments you will be paying are monthly standard charges remaining at the same amount and leaving your account on the same day. However, what if your car breaks down, there is a leak in the bathroom, you break a window or the TV? Instead of sticking these large, unexpected costs on your credit card and paying it off over time, which can be a good method if managed correctly, start saving to create an emergency fund, just in case.
If you don’t already have a pension, it is worth opening one to start saving for retirement. If you are in your twenties then this is particularly important advice because though retirement seems a long time away being prepared financially is important to maintain a good living standard in your later years. Also look into saving money in an ISA, a Help to Buy ISA or the new Lifetime ISA (due in April 2017) are particularly good for first time buyers to save towards a deposit and earn a contribution from the Government.
Declutter and make some extra cash
New year, new start and new you, all regularly repeated in January and one way to achieve this is to get rid of the old and unwanted. Books, clothes, CD’s, DVD’s, furniture, bikes etc. can all be sold online to make some extra cash that you can save, spend on something you need or be used to pay off some debts. Not only are you making space in your house but you are improving your bank balance, a great way to start the New Year.
See what benefits you may be entitled to
Whether you are out of work or in work, if you are struggling to manage your money it is worth seeing what benefits you may be entitled to. There are many in work benefits you may be able to claim that you could be missing out on. These benefits are usually based on your income so when you apply what you earn will be taken into account. You can check your eligibility on the government’s website without having to submit an application. [https://www.gov.uk/benefits-calculators]
Become a Do It Yourself expert
If you are planning on saving a large amount of money, it may be worth looking into becoming a bit of a DIYer. Some things you could do yourself to save yourself some money include: making and mending your clothes, cooking from scratch, growing your own food, making your own cleaning products, learning how to mend appliances in your home, start making your own furniture etc. This one can take a lot more time or effort to make work for you but it can help you save anything from a few pounds to hundreds.
So there you have it our top ten tips to save you and your household some money next year, let us know your top tips. Here’s to a happy and thrifty 2017!