If you’re determined to get on top of your finances this year, we’ve got six new year’s resolutions that could save you some cash or help you manage your money better in 2017.
1. Make the most of your savings
Did your 2016 bank statements show that you earnt almost no interest on the money in your accounts? With rates still dismally low for savers, now is a good time to resolve to make your money work harder.
This may involve using savings to pay off debt, switching to a more competitive savings account, or paying money into an ISA and a pension. You could even consider investment funds or peer-to-peer lending.
Whatever you decide to do, the important thing is that you spend a bit of time thinking about how you can make the most of your money. To get started, check out our article on what to do with your savings when interest rates are low.
2. Switch your bank
Many of us have been meaning to do it for ages, so why not make 2017 the year that you make the switch?
Lots of banks offer nice perks to new customers
Changing to a different bank account could bring a higher interest rate, a more attractive overdraft facility, or even just better customer service or a smarter online banking interface.
Lots of banks also offer nice perks to new customers, like switching bonuses or ongoing rewards.
You could consider one of the new online banks now entering the market, which use technology and data to make banking more user-friendly. Check out our in-depth review of four leading banking start-ups to see if one of them could be right for you.
3. Get apps to help you manage your money
Talking of technology, are you making use of all the digital tools that are out there to help you budget and to keep your finances in good shape? If not, your financial new year’s resolution could be just that!
From budgeting app Squirrel to money transfer service TransferWise - and not forgetting online pension manager PensionBee - a whole plethora of apps and digital services could change how you manage your money in 2017.
4. Sort your pension
If you’re not currently paying into a pension, it makes sense to make retirement saving a priority this year. PensionBee can combine your old pensions into a new plan that you can manage online, so you could get this resolution completed in a few clicks!
If you are currently paying into a pension, it may be a good idea to review how your pension is doing and to increase your contributions if necessary. Why not play with our pension calculator to see if your retirement saving is on track.
If you do think you need to save more but you’re not sure how to go about it, we’ve come up with a few simple lifestyle tweaks that we reckon could free up an extra £500 a month.
5. Ask for a pay rise
If you haven’t been given a pay rise for a while, or you think you’re being underpaid for the job you’re doing, now could be the time to see if you can increase your wages. It can be a difficult chat to have with your boss, but that’s not a reason for avoiding it, so follow our top tips for a successful pay rise conversation.
And if you decide that actually the best way of improving your pay packet is to get a new job this year, don’t forget your pension! Our article on what to do with your pension when you move jobs should help.
6. Make sure you’re managing risk
We can be pretty sure that 2017 will include plenty of political and economic turbulence, with Donald Trump’s inauguration as US president and ongoing Brexit negotiations likely to have an impact on financial markets.
To deal with this, it’s a good idea to make sure your money is diversified, meaning it’s invested in a range of different assets. When financial markets are unstable, having your money in different places can help to manage risk. Having a pension can be one way of doing this, as a good pension plan is invested in a range of different assets and in different geographical regions.
There’s more information about this in our article on pensions vs. property investments in light of the EU referendum result, and our piece on what impact Trump and Brexit could have on your pension.
What are your 2017 finance resolutions? Tell us in the comments at the bottom of the page.
Risk warning As always with pensions, your capital is at risk. The value of your investment can go down as well as up, and you may get back less than you invest. This information should not be regarded as financial advice.