New Year money resolutions you should stick to this year

1. I will be more conscious of my spending

Shop window

Most of us aren't consciously planning how we spend our money says American financial author Ramit Sethi.

His advice is to cut-down mercilessly the cost of anything which isn't important to you. Use the savings on things that are.

Simplybeingmum has useful questions you should ask yourself before spending.

2. I will write a budget

£10 notes

Plan your finances to make better use of your money.

Citizens Advice offers an online budgeting tool, the money health check from the Money Advice Service may also be useful.

3. I will reduce my debt

Credit cards

Go through the 6 steps to cut your debt this year.

4. I will check my pay slip

pay slip

Check you have the correct tax code and national insurance contributions on your pay, otherwise or you could be getting overcharged.

If you're still not sure you could ask Citizens Advice for an appointment with an advisor.

You can get information on claiming a refund for overpayments from HM Revenue and Income

5. I will cut the cost of my mortgage or rent

Tree house

You may be able to find a cheaper mortgage deal with another mortgage lender and save yourself big money.

If you are struggling to pay your rent, talk to your landlord as soon as possible to work out a plan.

To check if you can claim benefits for helping with your rent payments use the government's benefits adviser tool.

6. I will cut the cost of my energy bills

Energy saving light bulb with cash

Insulate your hot water cylinder and you could save up to £60 a year.

Swap halogen spot lights with new LED bulbs. Replacing all traditional bulbs with energy saving versions can save £60 a year.

Make more energy savings with advice from the Energy Saving Trust.

7. I will cut the cost of my water bills

Water

Take steps to use less.

Use an online calculator from the Consumer Council for Water or uSwitch to find out if getting a water meter could save you money.

If you are receiving benefits you could get your water bills capped to help manage the cost of your water usage.

8. I will not automatically renew my insurance policies

Files

Make sure you look for a better deal before your car, home, life or any other insurance policy reaches its renewal date.

There's more to buying insurance than finding the cheapest quote, according to the Money Advice Service. Make sure you spend your money wisely.

9. I will save money on supermarket shopping

Supermarket aisle

Plan your meals to avoid waste, impulse buys and extra shopping trips to cut the cost of food shopping.

10. I will eat on the cheap

Sausage and butterbean casserole with herby crumb topping

It's tricky, but you can feed a family on £1 a portion. Get a balanced and healthy diet with some budget recipes from BBC Food.

11. I will save on my mobile phone bills

mobile phone

If you're paying for minutes and texts you don't use, or going over your allowance and ending up with a huge bill, the chances are that you're on the wrong contract.

Ofcom has details of how to get the best mobile phone deal to suit your needs.

12. I will be travel savvy

Savy traveller

If travelling by car look at ways of reducing your fuel costs.

Book ahead and travel outside peak times for bus and train journeys. Book flights early - prices generally go up the later you leave it.

For package holidays, travel writer Simon Calder advises you book for summer holidays. However he says "If you can be flexible and aren't fussed about where you go, wait until the week or even the day before."

13. I will reclaim for delays

Delayed passengers

If your train is more than an hour late, the minimum compensation for a delay is 20% of the cost of your single ticket or 10% of a return.

Which? has more advice on how to claim refunds for train delays.

Follow our advice if your flight lands more than three hours late.

14. I will haggle

Haggling

Go to stores when it's quieter; staff are more likely to give you a discount.

Start by asking for something extra in the deal - for example a cable with a television set, or polish with new shoes.

If the price is already reduced there's often more flexibility on the price. Money Saving Expert has more on haggling.

15. I will avoid impulse buying

Shopping bags

Follow our advice to avoid the dangers of random purchases.

Only buy what you need. Buying in bulk can often mean better value, but it's not always the case.

Don't rush decisions over big, expensive goods.

16. I will de-clutter

Sale

Sell unwanted, unused or unloved items in a car boot sale or on auction websites like eBay.

Check your consumer rights when selling online.

17. I will live without…

reciepts

Drive to work? Walking or cycling could cut costs up to £1,800 a year.

The gym? Cancelling an unused membership you could save up to £600 a year.

Chocoholic? Giving up a daily bar of chocolate would save around £250 a year.

Money Saving Expert's "demotivator" tool shows how the cost of luxury items add up.

18. I will get a low cost hobby

Knitting

If you've got a talent for music or crafts you could share your skills for extra cash.

You could offer guitar lessons or consider selling your creations.

19. I will save money on days or evenings out

fairground

Check out what free events are held at your local museum, library, park or wildlife centres.

You can find local activities using the BBC's Things to do website.

Search online for discounts on cinemas, theatres or other activities. Money Saving Expert keeps an updated list of cinema deals.

20. I will review my finances later in the year

diary

Set a date in your diary to review how much you have saved.

Stick to your goals and don't be distracted from making savings you set at the start of the year.

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