Financial New Year's resolutions and how to achieve them

We've come up with seven financial resolutions that'll help you get the new year off to a flying start...

If your finances have got into a bit of a tangle, why not make 2021 the year to sort them out?

To give you a helping hand, here are seven financial New Year’s resolutions that will change your life for the better.

1. Get out of debt

Christmas is a time when many of us get a little carried away with our spending.

As a result, it can be really easy to get into debt. So, if you’ve spent a little too much over the festive period, now is the time to start tackling that debt.

If you’ve racked up a lot of debt on a credit card and you’re paying a hefty rate of interest, you should transfer that debt over to a 0% balance transfer credit card.

A good option is the HSBC Balance Transfer Card, which will allow you to avoid paying interest on that debt for 25 months with a fee of 1.5% of the amount you're switching. There are balance transfer cards that don't have a fee, but these have shorter interest-free periods

These cards will give you plenty of time to start tackling your debt head-on, without worrying about the interest stacking up. 

2. Get into the savings habit

With money tight for many of us, saving on a regular basis can be difficult. But if you work out a budget and make a few cutbacks, you’ll find it much easier.

Perhaps you can get rid of that gym membership you’ve been forking out for each month, or if you’re not working from home, maybe you can start taking your own packed lunch to work rather than buying one each day?

It’s a good idea to set yourself a realistic target. Telling yourself that you’ll start saving half of your salary each month is likely to be impossible.

So, make sure you set a target you know you can stick too. Even if you can only manage a small amount each month, this can soon add up.

Of course, once you’ve done this, it’s important to choose a suitable savings account to put all of that extra money into. 

New Year's resolutions: cut your grocery bill (Image: Shutterstock)

3. Reduce your food bill

For your New Year’s resolution number three, start slashing those food bills!

Ditching the big brands and plumping for supermarket own brands, as well as buying from deep discounters and planning ahead, rather than buying on impulse, can help to shave money off your bill.

You can also check out our guide on how to cut your grocery bill and keep an eye on our weekly supermarket deals roundup, as it'll help you spot where the best bargains are to be found.

4. Cut your car costs

Similarly, why not make 2021 the year to cut your car costs? Filling up with petrol each week can do some serious damage to your bank balance. So, if you want to save money, try to avoid using your car wherever possible and walk or cycle instead.

If you do need to use your car fairly regularly, there are still plenty of things you can do to keep the costs down.

Check out our guide on how to save a fortune at the petrol pump.

New Year's resolutions: pension planning (Image: Shutetrstock)

5. Plan for your retirement

Forgetting to plan ahead and prepare for your retirement can be easy, especially when times are tight. But the earlier you start, the better off you’ll be in the future.

So, don’t put off starting your pension any longer. Even if you’ve already started contributing, try to increase those contributions this year.

Of course, if you’d prefer not to use a pension and are planning to rely on your ISAs or property instead, it’s still important not to leave it too late.

Pension planning: avoid these mistakes for a comfortable retirement

6. Save money on energy

Millions of us are paying far more on our energy bills than we need to, so make sure you shop around using comparison sites and switch to a better deal.

You could save hundreds!

7. Earn rewards

Improving your finances doesn’t just have to mean making cutbacks. So, the final New Year’s resolution to make is all to do with being rewarded for your spending.

Every time you shop online, make sure you use a cashback website such as Quidco or TopCashback.

And whether you’re shopping online or on the high street, it’s also a good idea to use a cashback credit card: just make sure you can afford to pay off the bill in full each month to avoid getting hit with a hefty interest rate.

This article has been updated

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