However much money you have (or don’t have) by this point in January, there are a lots of easy money management resolutions you can still make for the New Year (and decade!). Why not try a few – they could make all the difference?
Tackle a bill a month
Millions of us have lapsed from the initial, enticing offer rates and onto the standard plan for lots of different bills – whether that’s electricity or gas, TV or the gym. So, pick one bill each month and work out how you could cut the cost.
It’s often as simple as calling your current provider and asking for its best rate. You could spend a little time researching other providers to see which is is cheapest and switch to save more. Either way, you’ll end the year better off.
Build an emergency fund
One in eight of us UK adults have no cash savings at all. A further third have savings of between £1 and £1,999, meaning that lots of us would struggle in the event of an unexpected cost.
Yes, we know it’s often tricky to save, especially when money is tight anyway, but just putting away a few pounds each week or month can really add up.
Commit to ‘no spend’ days
We’ve all heard of Meat-Free Mondays and No Alcholidays, so why not give ‘No Spend’ day a go?
Avoiding spending even 1p for one day does wonders to make you more aware of the money that fritters away on other days. It’s also a really effective way to highlight where and what you’re spending on, without thinking. If you can manage, try to do it often – start off on one day and build up.
Cut spending and set a budget
The best way to cut spending is review where your money is going by assessing your income and expenditure – it’s one of the first steps that we take when we meet with all of our customers. Setting a budget gives you something to work towards, and you can tailor it to your specific needs and financial goals.
Review bank statements and credit card bills to determine what you’ve been spending and ask yourself which items you could have gone without or at least cut down on.
Simply switching to a cheaper supermarket could save you £100s each year, as could being a yellow sticker hunter when food is being reduced of an evening. A pretty penny could also be saved by signing up to free loyalty schemes that reward you with coupons or money off vouchers.
Try to increase your income
Getting a better paid job is a simple way to pay off more debts and save more money, but it’s easier said than done. It does no harm, however, to update your CV – it’s often easy to forget just how accomplished you are and what you know. Maybe you could try doing some volunteering to get more experience of a field you’re interested in.
In your current role, it’s also worth asking whether you can increase the amount of shifts you do or hours you work if you want to earn a little extra cash. Babysitting, cleaning or walking dogs can also be nice little earners that are worth looking into.
Sell things you don’t need
We all have lots of items lying around the house that we don’t want, use or wear and they could be turned into much needed cash instead.
Check out easy-to-use selling sites such as eBay, Gumtree, Preloved and Facebook Marketplace. And the likes of YourBooty and CarBootSales are also worth visiting for details of car boot and tabletop sales local to you.
Also have a think about what you could return. Are there any clothes hanging unworn in your wardrobe that you regret buying and you could get your money back? At worst, you could get a credit note to spend on something you would wear or use.
Check for mistakes
Take a look over card and bank statements to see if there have been any banking errors or fraudulent charges. Have you been charged twice for something or has a refund not been processed?
Make a list of fun free things to do
Paying off debts and cutting back on spending can be a stressful and it’s not a particularly enjoyable process. It’s all too easy to feel like you’re sacrificing a lot and not having any fun.
So, it’s important to still take time out for yourself and those around you. Websites like TripSavvy, VisitEngland, Tripadvisor and MagicFreebies have lots of ideas for when you’re stuck for something to do and trying to keep the costs down. You’ll discover all the free days out across the UK.