Whatever your income, money situation or financial aspirations, here are ten of the best ways to ensure the next 12 months are as prosperous as possible:
1. Find some cheap debt: being in the red is the number one way to stay poor, as you’ll always be paying more on debt than you can earn on your savings, making it impossible to be financially net neutral.
Ditch the storecards, transfer your credit card debt to a card that allows 0% balance transfers (check out the best deals on cards), and make more than the minimum payment every month.
2. Get someone else to pay your debt for you: take in a lodger, rent out a room, turn your house into a pop-up hotel, rent out your garage or parking space to someone who needs it more than you.
3. Sell your unwanted presents, possessions and general stuff on eBay: it’ll make more room in your house, and it is amazing how extra space lifts the spirit.
4. Shop around for better deals on utility bills: find a good deal on a comparison site.
5. Pay yourself first: get into the habit of making money for yourself before you pay everyone else. Set up a regular savings account and make sure your direct debit pays in every month.
6. Open an Individual Savings Account (Isa), either with cash or investing in shares. Do this before April 5, 2016 so you don’t lose out on this year’s allowance of £15,240.
7. Make a will: it costs less than £300 to have a solicitor write a simple will for you. It sorts your life out after your death, saves your relatives tons of hassle, and keeps your money out of the hands of the state.
8. Start a pension, or up your contributions. Guess what, you’ll be paying more to have less of a pension if you are in the public or private sector, but the earlier you start, the less you’ll have to contribute overall.
9. Get some life insurance: if you have any dependents they will thank you for it if you die early.
10. Make 2016 the year you research ways to generate alternative, passive income, either from a sideline business or income from bonds and shares.
Happy new year! Regards, Marianne