A two pound and one pound coinNew year, new resolutions. But how long will they last? I have a tendency to set myself unrealistic targets and then feel disappointed when I can’t achieve them.  So this year, I’m going to kick off 2010 with a plan to cut some of my unnecessary outgoings.  Here are some ideas which I hope will get 2010 off to a healthy start.

Bills

We all have bills to pay, including gas and electricity, broadband, home phone, mobile phones, insurance, water and so on. But there’s no need to pay above the odds for any of those services.

It might sound obvious, but comparing your services online really is the quickest way to save a lot of money. Compare your gas and electricity prices regularly, compare your insurance every time you receive a renewal notice, and always keep your eye out for great deals on TV packages, broadband and mobile phones.

Managing your money

Are you paying interest on your credit card, or incurring unnecessary charges on your overdraft?  These are things that can easily happen, but can be easily prevented. Switch your credit card or current account online and make huge savings by getting a better deal.

If you haven’t done so already, then consider setting up online banking, particularly for your credit card.  This will help you keep track of your spending and prevent the shock of an unexpected monthly statement.

Savings

Are your savings providing you with the best possible return?  Savings rates have had a lot of negative press lately, but it’s still worth putting money into a savings account. Don’t assume that the interest rate you initially had on your savings account still applies.  Your rate may have dropped, in which case finding a new savings account with a better rate could be highly beneficial.

Cutting costs

Finally – here are a few quick tips to help you save money easily.

  • Write down your list of outgoings and see where the money goes – you might be surprised how much you spend a week on small things like coffee and magazines. Remember to do this annually and not monthly so that your list includes one off costs like holidays and car MOT’s
  • Use our budget planner and you can really find out where your money goes
  • Join a library or set up a book club at work to share books
  • If you drive to work, try setting up car sharing to save on petrol
  • Eat your breakfast at home and/or take your lunch into work instead of buying it in a shop
  • Read the newspaper online
  • Use voucher codes for hundreds of deals and cashback online
  • Recycle old mobile phones to get some extra cash
  • Make sure you are getting all the benefits you are entitled to

Which just leaves me to wish you all a Happy New Year!

Photo credit to: Sam Fox Photography via Flickr

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