A new year brings new resolutions. If yours is to make and save more money, Which? can help with some tips to help improve your cash flow.
From switching banks to testing products for cash, we've put together a series of 21 money-making and saving tips you can use to be better off financially in 2021.
If you're looking for a simple and easy way to start saving, you could try saving the change every time you buy something.
Banks including Monzo, Revolut and Starling are allowing customers to round up a purchase and automatically save the change into a separate pot.
Have you got any bad habits which are making a dent in your finances?
According to new research by savings provider Hargreaves Lansdown, you could be over £4,000 better off by the end of next year if you choose to give them up.
The table below shows some examples of how much you could save.
|New year's resolution||Monthly saving||Annual saving|
|Give up 11-a-day cigarette habit||£186.50||£2,238|
|Give up alcohol||£39.42||£473|
|Give up an unused gym membership||£41||£492|
|Cut out takeaways||£23.40||£281|
|Reduce food waste||£60||£720|
Source: Hargreaves Lansdown research using data from the Office for National Statistics and Lovefoodhatewaste.com
This way, you're not paying expensive interest and can concentrate on paying back the money you owe.
These cards aren't suitable for borrowing, due to the high interest charges, so you'll need to pay off your balance in full each month.
You can get a railcard no matter how old you are.
The 16-25, 26-30 and Senior (over 60) railcards are the most well-known and can save you a third off your ticket.
But any adult and a friend or family member can get the Two Together Railcard which can save you a third off most rail fares when you travel together, or a Family and Friends Railcard, where adults get a third off and kids get 60% off most fares.
If you travel in the south-east, you can buy a Network Railcard which offers a similar discount.
The table below shows pricing for all available UK railcards.
|Type||Price (1 year)||Price (3 years)|
|Disabled Persons Railcard||£20||£54|
|Family & Friends Railcard||£30||£70|
Plus there's a chance you might also make money if the bank you move to offers a switching bonus, although these have largely disappeared this year due to coronavirus.
This doesn't mean banks won't re-introduce offers in the new year, although currently, the only offer available is from Virgin Money which is offering 15 free bottles of wine from Virgin Wines (valued at £180).
Most banks have agreed to use a switching service, which means it should take just seven working days to switch you over from your old account once the new account is opened.
Loyalty schemes can be an easy and free way to turn your everyday spending into savings.
You've probably heard of the biggest ones, such as Tesco Clubcard, Sainsbury's Nectar and the Boots advantage card.
Checking whether you can earn cashback when you shop online is a great money-saving habit you can adopt in the new year.
Some brands will actually pay you cash if you buy something from them by going via an external website first.
, and all offer the chance to get a percentage back on what you spend with certain retailers. Cashback is paid within one to three months of completing a purchase, which means if you leave it to accumulate you could end up with a decent pot after a year.
Most major banks and building societies now offer tailored cashback schemes that pay up to 15% when you spend with your debit card in-store and online.
Santander's is called Retailer Offers, Halifax offers Cashback Extras, Lloyds Bank has Everyday Offers, Nationwide has Simply Rewards, while HSBC and First Direct have Visa Offers.
The cashback opportunities are tailored to your spending habits, but you will need to activate them. You can do this through your online banking or mobile banking app. Once you've selected the offers you want, you just need to spend on your linked card to earn money.
These let you share the same benefits for a cheaper monthly fee, and with many subscription services, you can still have your own account.
Spotify Premium for Family, for example, allows up to six people living at the same address to share a subscription for £14.99 per month.
This means you can save up to £539.40 over a year compared to when taking out a personal account for £9.99 a month each.
Hundreds of millions of pounds are lying around in lost of forgotten bank accounts, savings accounts and old investments.
If you think you might have an old account, finding it can be quite easy.
Selling items you don't need or never use anymore could be doing you a massive favour - not just financially. It can also help you to clear out your clutter and you may be able to buy the things you really need with the money, or put it in a savings account.
Websites like eBay, Gumtree and Facebook Marketplace are some of the biggest sites where you can advertise items you want to sell, complete with images and descriptions for free.
You can usually earn money by renting your home to TV production companies, or renting a room via websites like Airbnb, although it might be harder to do this during the coronavirus crisis.
You decide what to charge, with the going rate depending on location, demand and facilities such as lighting and security.
Vehicles, evening dresses and household tools are among the most commonly rented items on these sites, and you can set the price and length of time you are willing to lend your items for.
You can test products before they're launched such as food and the latest technology, and get paid for giving your opinion on them.
You may get cash or gift vouchers, and you should be told how much you'll get in advance.
You can earn money at home by completing surveys.
You can expect to earn anywhere from 50p to £5 a survey.
Your chances may be slim, but it's worth giving it a go - especially the free ones.
Recycling old products like clothes and old technology is a great way to earn some extra cash.
You can also take your old clothes and shoes to some high-street shops to get money-off coupons.
For example, you can get £5 off purchases over £25 at Schuh and £5 off a £35 spend at M&S.
Music lovers can get paid to review unsigned artists.
For instance, Qmee pays you when you search online.
It works through a browser extension that pops up with a set of results each time you use a search engine like Google. If you click through one of the links, you bank the money until you want to cash out.
If you aren't already, consider saving into a pension.
If you're in a company pension, there are minimum contributions you and your employer must pay. Since last April, total minimum contributions have rested at 8%; with a minimum of 5% paid by you and 3% from your employer. Some employers may contribute more, and even match your contributions.
You'll earn money on your savings no matter what type of pension you save into via the stock market. Your savings will be invested in a range of assets such as property and bonds which should give you generous returns over the years.
Blogs can be a great way to earn an income and can be a fun hobby for those who are passionate about a certain subject such as food or music.
You'll need to put in the work and effort to reap the benefits, and money-making probably won't be instant.
Once it gets going, however, generating income can be pretty easy.
Try using Google Adwords to put advertising on your site and make money every time people click on the ads.