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Meet your financial goals and reduce costs in 2014

Meet your financial goals and reduce costs in 2014

Category: Money

Updated: 09/01/2014
First Published: 09/01/2014

This article was correct at the time of publication. It is now over 6 months old so the content may be out of date.

The start of a new year is always a good opportunity to organise your finances and set a few goals for the year ahead, but if you've already broken a few resolutions fear not – we're here to help.

We've put together some key ways you can reduce costs in 2014 and meet your financial goals, so even if you've indulged in junk food or have had a few cheeky drinks you can still retain your angelic glow.

Get into the savings habit

  • There's no better time to get into the savings habit, so whether you need to save for a summer getaway, want to build up an emergency fund or even want to start saving for next Christmas it makes sense to start now.
  • A great way to go could be to set up a regular savings account. This option could be ideal if you haven't got a large lump sum to invest and can be perfect for those who want to save little and often – even small amounts can quickly add up, and you could soon get into the savings habit.

Plan ahead

  • Planning is key to budgeting successfully, and is particularly important when it comes to big purchases such as holidays, weddings, a new car or lump-sum insurance payments.
  • Start saving now and the outlay won't seem like quite so much, and if you shop around for various services and even book your holiday early you could get some great deals.

Manage credit effectively

  • A lot of people rely on credit these days, but if you manage it effectively it needn't be a burden. Stick to credit cards with 0% interest on purchases, for example, or if you racked up a hefty bill over Christmas now's the time to consider putting the amount on a 0% balance transfer credit card.
  • Doing so will mean you can pay off your debt in small monthly amounts without accruing additional interest, or another alternative would be to consolidate larger debts into a loan.

Compare energy tariffs

  • Over the last few months the major energy providers have all increased their tariffs to a greater or lesser extent, and that's putting even more pressure on households that are already struggling with budgets. That's why you should compare prices before you get locked in to a higher tariff – taking a proper look at your energy usage and comparing different providers can ensure you find the deal that doesn't break the bank.

Look into switching bank accounts

  • Switching bank accounts might not initially seem like it'll bring much benefit, but with many banks offering great incentives and even cash rewards for switching it might be time to consider it.
  • Some packaged accounts will charge a fee, but with many offering the likes of travel insurance, phone insurance and film and DVD rental it could well save you money in the long term. Plus, the extra cash incentive that many offer could be ideal for this time of year…

Check your insurance policies

  • If you've got into the habit of blindly renewing your insurance policies without considering the alternatives, it could be time to make a change.
  • Making sure you've got the right cover is essential, which is why you'll want to go through the various features, terms, conditions and exclusions of your policy to ensure you've got the type of cover that you need at a price you can afford. But, there is a caveat – don't always go for the cheapest option as you might lose out on protection, and when it comes to insurance that should never be an option.

Set up Direct Debits for bills

  • A lot of service and utilities providers will give the option of letting you pay by monthly Direct Debit, and in many cases this can be a much cheaper option. Reductions can often be given when customers pay in this format, and you've got the added peace of mind that you won't be charged for late payment.

Combine your phone, broadband and TV

  • Opting for a combined phone, broadband and TV package will invariably be cheaper than selecting services individually, and if you make sure to compare the various options to make sure you're getting the best deal you can't go wrong.
  • Don't forget about the lost art of haggling either – loyal customers can often get a discount, and after all, if you don't ask you don't get.

Make the most of vouchers

  • Vouchers, cashback sites and discount codes can be a great way to save a bit of extra cash. A lot of online retailers offer discounts of some kind, be it for the likes of free delivery, 10% off or even significantly more, and with cashback sites you can get extra money in your pocket for shopping as normal. Never press the checkout button without first seeing what you can uncover!

What Next?

Compare the best regular savings accounts

Manage credit effectively with a 0% deal

Switch your energy and you could save up to £370

Search from over 125 leading insurance providers for the best deal

Disclaimer: Information is correct as of the date of publication (shown at the top of this article). Any products featured may be withdrawn by their provider or changed at any time.