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Financial hangovers and good intentions – how is 2017 going so far?

Christmas overspending means two in five Brits are having to cut back in January – but it seems that doesn’t stop us aiming for those longer-term saving goals.

We’re only three and a bit weeks in to the new year, but an average overspend per person of £78 in December is taking its toll says Santander.

A fifth of the people in its survey said they’d go out less this month, and the same plan to spend less on food and drink. Other activities that’ll suffer are birthday gifts (6%), driving (5%) and gym memberships (4%).

Finding the best ways to cut back

Though it might seem obvious where you have to cut back to spend less, there might be ways you’ve not thought about which have less impact on your day-to-day life.

Checking through bank statements might show up long-forgotten payments and subscriptions you no longer need to pay, while a simple budget will show you exactly where your money goes each month.

Longer-term resolutions

Of course it’s all very well to try to change our short-term spending habits based on a lack of cash.

Yet a different bit of research from investment company Standard Life suggests most of us make resolutions which are a bit longer-term.

A quarter (27%) of people want to save more this year than last, while one in five (21%) plan to save for a holiday. One in six intend to get a better deal on their utilities, pay off debts, or clear credit cards.

Some look further into the future, with one in 10 planning to put more into retirement or write a will. The same number plan to build a savings buffer.

Sticking to your goal

Of course having a goal doesn’t mean you’ll stick to it – more than a quarter of new year resolutions are normally broken by the end of January, according to TopCashback.

But there are a few things you can do to help make your plans a reality.

Name your goal

It really helps to be specific. So saving for a holiday to New York is better than just any holiday.

Work out how you’ll do it

Whether it’s saving or cutting back, having a plan to achieve your goal makes it more realistic.

Review the goal

As the year goes on your priorities might change, so it’s worth checking in every four months or so to see if it’s still the best goal to have. If it is, the review will act as a reminder of what you’re trying to achieve and why.

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