A new year means you have a chance to make a fresh start – whether that’s with your health, your job or your finances. It can be the spark you need to make some really positive changes in your life.

But if you’re looking to improve your bank balance, do you know where to start? How can you make a difference and start to see the results quickly, just by making a few simple changes?

Our top financial New Year’s resolutions for 2018 will help you start to improve your finances this year. Whether you want to start saving up or cut your spending, our tips will point you in the right direction.

Financial New Year’s resolutions for 2018

  1. Save on your energy bills

If you’re paying over the odds for your gas and electricity, it’s time to make a change. You could switch to a new supplier and a new deal to save on what you spend every month.

Our blog on changing your energy supplier has some tips on how you can do this. Just make sure you’re not still in a fixed energy deal or you might have to pay to switch early.

Next week (22 – 28 January 2018) is Big Energy Saving Week. Keep an eye on our Facebook and Twitter pages to see how you can save money on energy.

  1. Check you’re getting all the benefits you can

Cutting back on what you spend is one way to make sure you can afford all of your bills. But checking you’re claiming everything you can might also mean more money in your pocket.

By using a benefits calculator like the one from entitledto, you can see what you might be able to claim. This will help you work out if you’re not getting the benefits or tax credits you should.

If you’re entitled to Universal Credit but not sure how to claim, this video should give you a basic overview.

  1. Have a clear out of your bills

When was the last time you really looked at what you spend every month? If you’ve not checked your budget recently, take the opportunity to review what you’ve got going out.

For example, if you’ve got a gym subscription but you don’t actually go, you could cancel this to save money. Or if you’ve got insurance for a mobile you don’t own any more, see if you can stop paying for this.

  1. Start saving

If you’ve got a tight household budget, saving money every month can seem like an impossible goal. But you don’t have to jump from saving nothing to putting away half of your pay every month.

A savings goal should be realistic for your situation. So, if you can only afford to put away £50 a month, don’t stress if you think this isn’t enough. After saving for a year, you’d have £600. If you can commit to sticking to this, you’ll have built up a good amount of money for any unexpected bills.