How to be more financially savvy in 2016 

The start of a new year can be about more than diets and exercise: it's also a good moment to overhaul your finances. Lloyds Bank called on Mumsnetters to share their plans for getting financially fit in 2016 - here's a selection of their top tips

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1. Don't be afraid to look for help 

"For various reasons, I'm currently on benefits with some debt. My resolution is to get help to sort it out. I went on a Money Matters course run by my daughter's playgroup, and have realised there's no shame in getting help. I have an appointment booked with a money adviser, and am feeling very positive." 

2. Budget for the big stuff

"I've made a list of events that I want to save for in 2016. I've noted down all the birthdays, holidays, and planned days-out, and worked out a rough budget for each. I now know how much I need to save each month to have the money ready to buy presents, day trips, event tickets etc. I've even started saving for next Christmas!"

3. Step out of your comfort zone


"This year I'm going to stop being financially lazy. I have never compared insurance offers; I've never renegotiated contracts for my mobile phone, broadband, or television provider; I've been with the same bank since I was seven years old. It's time to stop being lazy and save some money."

4. Resist the temptations of online shopping

"I don't spend lots of money in person but online shopping can be really tempting. I'm aiming to curb that and think more carefully about what I really need. I am a bit of a sales hoarder and already have lots of clothes, toiletries and stationery stashed away."

5. Make small changes to see a big difference


"I have opened a Lloyds account which offers a Save The Change feature, so all my spending will be rounded up to the nearest pound. Every time I log into my online banking I'll then round up my savings to the nearest £1, £5 or £10 according to how much I can afford at the time. Hopefully this will help build my savings without me really noticing."

6. Tackle any debt as soon as you're able 

"I have taken out a loan to pay off all but one of my credit cards as it has a lower rate of interest."

"I plan to pay a little extra off the mortgage each month. Even if it's just an extra £50, I'll feel more in control of the giant debt."

7. Go green to save pounds

"I have resolved not to spend any money on carrier bags this year. At 5p a go I reckon I was spending the best part of £1 a week (10 bags for the weekly shop, plus extra runs for milk throughout the week). That's £50 a year I can save myself."

8. Never food shop without a budget/meal plan

"I plan to set a weekly food budget and stick to it religiously. I will be buying fruit and veg at the local market, and also intend to investigate Lidl and Aldi more thoroughly."

"I am planning to meal-plan and do my weekly shop online in an effort to cut down on waste, overeating and overspending."

9. Take control

"I want to actually take part in the financial plans as, at the moment, my husband does it all. This year I want to know what our bills are and when they go out."

10. And then maybe, just maybe, you can cut loose a little

"I have been (boringly) frugal for all of my adult life: the mortgage is paid off, we have a small investment property, I always shop at charity shops, I have upped my pension contributions, have money put aside for my son to go to university, and have sensible savings. So for once, I think this year I can actually spend some money!"

Lloyds Bank would like to thank Mumsnetters for sharing some very astute tips for starting the new year in style. For personalised advice, Lloyds Bank offers a free financial review where customers can sit down with their local branch to make sure they are getting the best value for money from banking with Lloyds. Find out more.


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