Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Get Your Finances Fit for 2017; WE ALL LIKE TO START THE NEW YEAR WITH GOOD INTENTIONS. VICKY SHAW OFFERS SOME TOP TIPS TO HELP YOU CARRY OUT A FINANCIAL DETOX

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Get Your Finances Fit for 2017; WE ALL LIKE TO START THE NEW YEAR WITH GOOD INTENTIONS. VICKY SHAW OFFERS SOME TOP TIPS TO HELP YOU CARRY OUT A FINANCIAL DETOX

Article excerpt

GETTING into simple habits which can help to save a little bit of cash here and there can soon add up.

Even if you aren't expecting to get much of a pay rise this year, there might be other ways that you can make some more room in your budget.

So how can you give yourself a "pay rise" for 2017? Hannah Maundrell, editor in chief at money.co.uk, says: "The secret is to set aside a little bit of time each week to keep on top of this, even if it's just 15 minutes."

She suggests, first, making a budget that lists all the cash going in and coming out each month.

Remember to include outgoings that aren't necessarily household bills such as gym memberships, money going into savings accounts or music subscriptions.

Hannah then suggests checking the following to see if you could get a better deal: | Gas and electricity - those on a variable rate tariff could potentially save a couple of hundreds of pounds a year by locking into a fixed cheap rate. | Debts - if you've got spare cash in savings, think about using it to pay down your mortgage or credit cards you're paying interest on. It could make your money work harder for you. Remember to keep a buffer in case you get an unexpected bill.

| Credit cards - if you're paying interest then a balance transfer could save you money and help you to pay the debt off faster. You can check your chance of getting accepted for many cards before you apply.

| Broadband, landline and TV - check what you're using and which channels you're watching and see if you could get the same deal elsewhere. If you want to stick with the same company, call them up and haggle.

| Mobile phone - if you own your handset or aren't tied into a fixed contract, perhaps consider switching to a Sim only deal. | Water - if you're not on a meter, but have fewer people living in your house than bedrooms, you could potentially save money with a water meter. …

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