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New Year Resolutions

Do you have a money resolution? Make 2015 the year of your finances with our five tips

What would you love to afford next year? Is a family holiday or a new car on your radar? Or perhaps you’d like to know how to make your savings go further?

Of the three in five people who made a resolution for 2014, three-quarters told us they’d chosen to focus on money goals.

Whatever your resolution, our tips can help you make 2015 the year your money starts working for you.

1.  Make an effective budget

To know where you can save, you really need to know what you spend, so budgeting is one of the most important things you can do to kick start your new money plans for the New Year.

Taking a look at your finances and finding subscriptions you can cancel, or shopping around to get cheaper insurance can add up to some big savings.
 

 

2. Start saving

Did you know that putting aside just £3 a day adds up to £1,095 over the course of a year? Put the money in a jar to watch it grow before your eyes – or even better, find a savings account that will help boost your money.  

Not sure how to find that £3? Well, could you get your caffeine fix by filling a Thermos at home, or walk to work instead of taking the bus?

See our Cut Back Calculator to find out where else you could cut back. The tool only takes five minutes to complete, but you could be rewarded with a nice boost in your savings.

3. Take advantage of the increased cash ISAs allowance

On 1 July 2014, Cash ISAs (Individual Savings Accounts) and Stocks and Shares ISAs were merged and renamed New ISAs – or NISAs with an increased allowance limit of £15,000. If you haven’t already taken advantage of your full allowance you have until April 5th 2015 to either open a new or put money into an existing ISA and take advantage of any tax free interest on your savings.

Next year’s ISA allowance is being increased to £15,240 from April 6th.   However, watch out for teaser rates that lure you in only to drop after the introductory period, and do shop around to find the best available rates.

It always a good idea to set up a reminder to notify you when any bonus rate runs out to maximise your ISA returns.
 

4. Check your credit report

Struggling to get credit from your bank or a lender? It could have something to do with your credit report. A credit report details your credit history, including a list of all your accounts, and helps a company assess how risky it would be to lend to you.  

Our research has shown two in three UK adults have never checked their credit report.

We asked our Tell MA Community about their experiences with credit reports. Many people didn’t know credit ratings can also affect bank accounts, interest rates, utility provider applications and mobile phone contracts. One person said ‘Credit and credit ratings are a bit of a mystery to me. It’s something other people worry about.’

5. Give up smoking

If you’ve tried – and failed – to quit before, maybe money can be the motivation you need? According to Ash.org, in 2014, a 20-a-day smoker of a premium cigarette brand will spend about £2,900 a year on cigarettes.

If cigarettes are burning a hole in your budget, why don’t you set yourself a savings goal to work towards?  If you take out the money you spend on cigarettes from your outgoings, you’re much more likely to reach your goal quickly. See our guide on starting a savings goal.

You’ll be amazed how much daily costs add up over time. And that extra cash could be working hard for you in a savings account or a pension pot instead of being smoked away.  

Giving up smoking can be hard. For tips on how to give up, visit NHS Smokefree.

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  • Santi Boonyarat / 3 August 2015

    I want to checking my credit .

  • Brian / 4 February 2015

    i agreed to everything u ve said

  • John / 28 January 2015

    Wow! This is so good
    Its gonna help me alot

  • Michael / 12 January 2015

    Good list - also worth making sure your on the best bank account for you, it only takes seven days to switch and you could end up with a better interest rate and lots of other bonuses!