From exercising more to just spending time with the family, it’s the season for new year’s resolutions, so could you make changes to the way you manage your money?

Research by savings provider Marcus shows takeaways and alcohol are the most regretted purchases of 2018, followed by frivolous spending on the home.

But there are some money resolutions you can make that could leave you with some extra cash to ensure you don’t feel guilty about the odd meal out or a drink.

Keep a spending diary 

This tip comes from pensions provider Royal London.

By reviewing your expenditure, you can make a budget which should stop you from overspending.

You can alter and prioritise what you are spending to enable you to stay within your means. Most banks offer a digital spending breakdown app and there are a lot of free budgeting planners available online.

Protect the family

What would happen if you lose your job or are no longer around? Will the family be able to keep up with mortgage repayments and other bills.

Life insurance and other forms of protection such as critical illness cover are important as they can make sure your family are looked after and can afford the big expenses if you pass away or can no longer work.

For example, life insurance can provide a payout to cover the mortgage if you or your spouse die, income protection or critical illness can provide funds for if you have a period out of work or are no longer able to.

Another way to protect the family is to write a will.

Royal London research found three in five UK parents either do not have a will or have one that is out of date. It is especially important for parents to have an up to date will, so if the worst were to happen their children would be brought up by who they choose. A will also ensures your assets are passed on as you wish them to be, so it’s vital to have one and keep it up to date.

Remortgage

A mortgage is likely to be the biggest monthly expense for home owners. Shopping around for new deals could help cut your repayments, especially if you have come to the end of a deal and moved to your lender’s standard variable rate (SVR).

SVRs are typically more expensive than deals that are on offer to new customers so now could be the time to make a switch.

Bills

It’s not just mortgages that get expensive at the end of a deal period.

You could save money by switching your energy, broadband and mobile phone bills.

For example, comparison websites such as uSwitch estimate you could save up to £482 by switching your energy bills.

A long-term resolution

It’s never too late to start saving for your retirement. Putting a little bit of money into a pension each month could help ensure your golden years are comfortable and you even benefit from tax relief on your contributions.

Everyone gets a 20% boost on their contributions from the Government, while higher rate taxpayers can claim an extra 20% on their tax return. which bumps up how much you are putting in.

Speak to your financial adviser if you need any help in starting or keeping up with your money resolutions.

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