Let’s be honest, we all love making New Year’s resolutions, although we’re not always so good at sticking to them. Here are some that you can hopefully make a long-term part of your life, and how they can save you money month after month.
1. Shop smarter
If you always buy everything from one shop or supermarket, take the time to try some of the others near you – you’ll be amazed at the differences in price for identical items, especially in discount stores and £1 shops.
2. Cut down
Plenty of other New Year’s resolutions can help you to save money – for example, if you decide to drink less or quit smoking, or to walk more instead of taking the car everywhere. Basically any resolution to ‘cut down’ on something should naturally cut down on your spending too.
3. Deal or no deal?
Only use multibuy deals if you’ll get through everything you buy – otherwise you’re just spending more to create more food waste and that’s bad for your wallet and for the environment too.
4. Plan your spending
Know when you will need to spend money – we’ve already mentioned food, but utility bills, rent or mortgage, and other things like TV licence and car insurance are all ‘expected’ costs that you can plan ahead for when they will go out of your account.
5. Beat your budget
For unexpected spend, try to have a budget and aim to beat it in any given week or month – there will be months where you go over, but on balance you should come out better off.
6. Get crafty
If your resolution is to learn a new skill, make it something that saves you money – learn to sew, or bake bread, or something else that helps to feed and clothe your family. You might just cut down on food waste and ‘fast fashion’ throwaways in the process.
7. Work harder
There’s nothing wrong with setting some work goals for the new year. If you’re self-employed, this might just mean aiming to earn more. In employment, it could mean paid overtime or working towards promotion and a pay rise.
8. Switch suppliers
This is one you can do in January and then forget about until next year – especially as many new tariffs will mean agreeing to a minimum 12-month contract. Check what’s out there and consider dual fuel, capped rates and so on, and you could save a small fortune if you haven’t switched in years.
9. Improve your credit rating
Sign up to a free credit report website and see what your current score is. By paying bills on time and using credit sensibly, you could boost your score by the year’s end and could unlock some cheaper interest rates in time for 2020 by being a lower-risk customer for lenders.
10. Spend in cash
There’s a big psychological difference to spending in cash compared with spending on a card. When you have to watch the physical money changing hands, you might be a bit more careful about how much you spend – and you’ll avoid paying interest on credit card bills if you only spend money that’s actually yours.