10 financial New Year resolutions for 2012Get your finances in shape with our 10 top tips

28 December 2011

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Get your finances in shape in 2012 with our 10 New Year resolutions

Losing weight, joining a gym and giving up smoking may be high on your list of New Year resolutions, but now's a good time to make financial resolutions too. We round up 10 top tips to start you off.

1. Switch bank account - If you're not getting the best deal or great service from your current account provider, vote with your feet and switch. Check out our Which? Recommended Providers for bank accounts to find the best for you.

2. Get the best savings rate - Use our unique Savings Booster to compare your current savings account with the best currently available.

3. Protect your income - If you fall ill or can't work due to an accident, having insurance in place to maintain an income is vital. Think about taking out an income protection policy to see you through.

4. Shop around for insurance - If you've been with your car or home insurer for almost a year, don't just automatically renew your policy as you could pay a far lower premium by shopping around. Choose a Which? Recommended Provider for home insurance and car insurance to get the best cover and service.

5. Sort out your debts - List everything you owe and prioritise payment on high-interest debt. Consider transferring credit card debt to a Best Rate 0% balance transfer card or a low-rate personal loan. If you're struggling with unmanageable debt, contact a free debt advice organisation.

6. Use your tax allowances - Avoid paying tax on your savings by placing your money into a Best Rate cash Isa. From April 2012 you can place £5,640 into a cash Isa, an increase of £300 from April 2011.

7. Know your credit card rights - Section 75 and chargeback let you make a claim to your credit card provider if you buy faulty products or items you've ordered don't arrive.

8. Cancel pointless insurance cover - It's a good idea to cancel any insurance policies you don't need. Your mobile phone can be covered as part of your home contents insurance, while the banking code protects you from for free.

9. Keep a spending diary - Keeping track of your expenditure each month can help you to make the most of your income. There are plenty of free personal finance software packages that can assist too.

10. Save energy - With rising energy costs, making your home more energy efficient can save you money, while switching energy provider can cut down your bills.

More on this...

  • Which? Money Helpline - free and unbiased money help for Which? members
  • Which? Money podcast - get top money tips every week with our free podcast
  • Money-saving tips - our Bills & Budgeting guides help you save money every day