Financial New Years’ Resolutions

Pig money bankThe beginning of a new year provides the perfect opportunity to turn over a new leaf and you won’t be surprised to learn that financial resolutions are amongst the most common. Detoxing your finances can be an empowering way to start the year on the right foot, but like all resolutions you’ve got a much better chance of succeeding if you set realistic goals. So ditch the fad diets and follow our top tips to financial fitness:

Switch Suppliers In the cold winter months your boiler is likely to be working overtime and early nights mean your lights will be burning bright. Recent research has shown that the average household could save over £200 by switching energy providers and more by consolidating providers.

Avoid Temptation Cleaning out your in-box and unsubscribing from shopping emails means you won’t be bombarded with deals saving you time and money.

Get Covered Insurance underpins all your finances and is one area where you shouldn’t compromise. However, you can cut costs without cutting corners. Using an insurance broker to carefully tailor cover to fit your individual needs means you won’t waste a penny on unnecessary benefits, and they’ll do all the ringing around for you.

Password Protection These days’ data breaches are never far from the headlines, and with more shoppers going online, it’s important to keep your personal details private. Never use the same password across multiple sites, passwords should contain a mixture of: lower case letters, capital letters, numbers and symbols, and they should be changed every three months. Keep a close eye on your bank statements and look out for anything suspicious.

Energy Efficiency Taking small steps towards a greener lifestyle can make a big difference to your fuel bills and you’ll be doing your bit to help save the planet. You’ll find some great ideas on the Energy Saving Trust website and some serious statistics to provide added financial motivation (for example: by replacing a G rated boiler with a modern A rated condensing boiler the average detached house could save £350 a year).

Mortgage Matters Given that mortgage repayments are likely to be a household’s single biggest outgoing; it’s surprising how few homeowners shop around. With property prices at an all-time high, and interest rates at an all-time low, remortgaging your property could make shrewd financial sense. If you have built-up equity in your property you may even be able to get a better deal by simply asking your current provider.

Financial Fears It’s often said that knowledge is power and when it comes to personal finances it pays to know exactly where you stand. By undertaking a financial audit of the first quarter you’ll get a clear picture of your incomings and outgoings. You can then look at making savings on your ‘fixed’ expenditures (for example: by switching utility or phone providers) and your ‘discretionary’ spend (for example: cancelling an unused gym membership or video streaming service).

Smart Savings Low interest rates make it hard for savers to get a sensible return, and when the chancellor announced a rise in the ISA limit to £20,000, the news was warmly welcomed. Individual Savings Accounts allow tax free savings and are currently used by approximately 14million people in the country.

Emergency Fund Putting aside a small amount of money every week can help you cope with big bills when financial disaster strikes. Whether your car fails its MOT, or your boiler decides to go on strike, disasters have a habit of happening when you can least afford them and an emergency fund will help you keep your head above water.



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