Were you too extravagant over the festive period or did you manage to stick to your budget? If you’re groaning in regret that it was the former, you’re not alone! Now it’s time to face the music and, like countless others, look for ways to save money to get yourself back on an even keel.
While lots of us head off to the gym in January to lose pounds, perhaps not so many of us put financial fitness, aimed at gaining pounds, at the top of our agenda.
So, how do you go about saving money in 2018? If you don’t know where to start, the Mirror offers some practical steps to fixing your finances. I’m choosing to concentrate on just three areas that are best suited to me. I’ll focus on these to begin with and then, with some positive progress hopefully under my belt, I’ll move onto more money making or money saving tips as the year progresses.
Top of the list for me in January is what I think is one of the best ways of making or saving money quickly: selling as much perfectly decent but no longer wanted furniture, lighting, old media devices, clothes, CDs and books that are gathering dust in the loft.
Yes, spring cleaning will be coming early for me and while a reasonable amount of effort is involved in preparing your sale goods, advertising them (perhaps on sites like E-Bay or Gumtree) and then packing and dispatching them, the rewards can be well worthwhile. Not to mention that enormous sense of well-being that comes from de-cluttering!
Any time I look for frugal money saving tips, one that’s often mentioned is to sign up to a cashback website, so this is going to be my second priority. Cashback websites get you a little money back every time you shop online from many major retailers. Scottish Friendly customers love sites like Quidco.com and TopCashback.com so this year I’m going to take the plunge and hopefully will end up over £100 wealthier at the end of the year than I would have been otherwise.
My third priority at the start of 2018 is to look more closely at my energy supplier and tariff. I did investigate the market three years ago and consequently I moved to a cheaper supplier. However since then, not surprisingly, prices have increased but, as one tends to do, I have until now rested on my laurels and not investigated if there are better deals out there.
These are my top three targets to kick start my finances in 2018 – and I expect to embark on more in the months to come. You’re also likely to find lots more ideas in the personal finance sections of your favourite newspaper in January as well as Scottish Friendly’s online money saving tips. Here’s to a prosperous New Year!