It’s that time of year when we all start thinking about making some resolutions. Losing a few pounds is often top of people’s lists but many people want to put their finances on a diet and save a few pounds instead!
To help you get some inspiration we asked our Facebook followers to tell us their financial resolutions for 2013. You can join the discussion on the MoneyAware Facebook page.
Start an emergency fund
Expect the unexpected! You’ll be much better set up to survive on a budget if you save up a little bit of money to cover costs that come out of the blue. Part of planning a reliable budget is to factor in costs that don’t come up every month but are likely to crop up eventually. These are things such as car repairs, haircuts, clothes and birthdays. (Thanks to Joanne, Lesley, Sarah for suggesting saving more)
To halve my debt / to be debt free
This was a popular theme among our followers and bringing down your debts is a great goal to set yourself this year. How much you can bring them down will vary depending on your situation, but setting yourself a target will give you something to aim towards and help keep you focussed during the harder times. (Thanks to Simon, Sarah, Helen, Claire who all have big plans for the year ahead)
Sell some stuff
I think most of us would confess to having things lying around the house that we thought were a great idea when we bought them but have not been picked up for years. Have a dig around the house and sell off all the things you don’t need anymore. As well as generating some much needed money it will help to de-clutter your house too! (Experienced car-booter Simon gave us this suggestion)
This is something that we’d recommend doing all year round, but the New Year is a time for self-improvement and spending less can be a great way to feel better about yourself and more in control of your finances. Look at all the things you spend money on and cut out or reduce all the ones that aren’t essential. (Lisa, Lauren, Matthew told us about their plans to cut back this year)
Being thrifty isn’t just about buying less stuff; you can often save money by being a bit cannier with your money. This means shopping around for the best deal, buying cheaper brands and using discount supermarkets.
Making sure you’re with the cheapest gas and electric supplier is another way to save money, if you’re not sure you’re getting the best deal then you can use our free online utility switching tool. (Terry and Pete told us about their thrifty plans for the year ahead)
Save up shrapnel
Putting all your loose change in a jar can be a small but really useful way to save. While you probably won’t miss the few coppers you’ve got lying around in your pockets, over a year this money can add up to serious amounts and really help you meet your financial goals. (Pete is already doing this and saving about £10 a month!)
Get debt help
These suggestions for resolutions are all really good but it could be that you feel completely overwhelmed with your finances and really need some debt help.
By getting in touch with StepChange Debt Charity you can get life changing advice and solutions, which will help you through 2013 and beyond. You can get our help using our free advice tool, Debt Remedy or by speaking to one of our debt advisors.