While it’s become hard to ignore the fact that Christmas is now just around the corner, it’s not long until New Year’s either. With that in mind, what’s your financial resolution for 2015?
For half of respondents to a recent survey* conducted on our behalf, the answer to that question is saving more. The equivalent of 23.8 million Brits hope to set more money aside next year – although this was the most popular financial resolution in 2013 too, which may mean wannabe savers haven’t been quite as successful as they hoped this year.
Another popular pledge is to be thriftier. Thriftiness is very on-trend at the moment, as more people adopt a make-do-and-mend attitude rather than splashing the cash on something new.
Top ways to be thrifty this New Year include:
• Doing your grocery shopping online so you don’t get tempted by deals that make you spend more than you planned
• Use a price comparison site or speak to an expert like the Money Saving Team about whether it’s possible to save money on your energy bills by switching
• If you’re a homeowner and your mortgage is coming to the end of its term, shop around to see what good deals are available. With the Bank of England suggesting it may put up interest rates from the middle of next year, now may be a good time to fix
• Change your shopping habits and start checking out charity shops and auction websites for some great second-hand bargains
• Have a go at growing your own – fresh fruit and veg can be expensive, so growing your own at home could save you a bundle.
Another popular financial New Year’s Resolution is to make a budget and stick to it, with nearly a quarter of respondents saying they hope to do this in 2015. While drawing up a budget isn’t usually difficult, sticking to it can be.
We recently blogged on ways to make sticking to a budget easier – and there are many benefits to doing so. For one, it means you know how much cash you have coming in and going out of your account each month and nothing comes as a surprise. More importantly, by sticking to a budget you shouldn’t risk money for bills leaving your account when you don’t have the funds available to pay them – which could result in you going overdrawn or being charged.
If you’re still struggling to think of a New Year’s Resolution, why not look at your finances? You may find there’s far more valuable work you can do by changing your behaviour with your money than vowing to give up chocolate or swearing.
*OnePoll questioned a nationally representative sample of 2,000 adults aged 18 and over between 24th September and 3rd October 2014. Figures have been extrapolated to fit ONS 2013 population projections of 50,371,000 UK adults.