It's almost a new year and if you want to change your finances for the better in 2018, here are eight resolutions that will definitely help.

1. Get out of debt

Christmas is a time when many of us get a little carried away with our spending. As a result, it can be really easy to get into debt. So if you’ve spent a little too much over the festive period, now is the time to start tackling that debt.

If you’ve racked up a lot of debt on a credit card, and you’re paying a hefty rate of interest, you should transfer that debt over to a 0% balance transfer credit card such as the Santander All in One Credit Card.

With this card, you’ll be able to avoid paying interest on that debt for 39 months!

This will give you plenty of time to start tackling your debt head-on, without worrying about the interest stacking up. Just bear in mind you will need to pay an annual fee of £36 for this card, which works out to £3 a month.

You can avoid the fee for the first six months if you already have a 123 current account.

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2. Get into the savings habit

With money tight for many of us, saving on a regular basis can be difficult. However, if you work out a budget and make a few cutbacks, you’ll find it much easier.

Perhaps you can get rid of that gym membership you’ve been forking out for each month, or maybe you can start taking your own packed lunch to work rather than buying one each day?

It’s also a good idea to set yourself a realistic target. Telling yourself that you’ll start saving half of your salary each month is likely to be impossible.

So make sure you set a target you know you can stick too. Even if you can only manage a small amount each month, this can soon add up.

Of course, once you’ve done this, it’s important to choose a suitable savings account to put all of that extra cash into.

Make sure you shop around as many current accounts are paying higher rates of interest than savings accounts, with the bonus of instant access to your money should you need it too.

Compare high-interest current accounts

New Year's resolutions: cut your grocery bill (Image: Shutterstock)

3. Reduce your food bill

For your New Year’s resolution number three, start slashing those food bills!

A good place to start is online, using a clever website called mySupermarket.

This website compares how much your shopping would cost at the main supermarkets so you’ll be able to choose the cheapest one!

Ditching the big brands and plumping for supermarket own brands, as well as buying from deep discounters and planning ahead, rather than buying on impulse, can also help to shave money off your bill.

4. Cut your car costs

Similarly, why not make 2018 the year to cut your car costs?

If you do need to use your car fairly regularly, there are still plenty of things you can do to keep the costs down.

So if you want to save money, try to avoid using your car wherever possible and walk or cycle instead.

If you do need to use your car fairly regularly, you can also keep the costs down by car sharing or joining a car club.

And when it comes to pricey petrol, make sure you shop around. Use to find the cheapest petrol station near you.

See if you can drive down your car insurance costs by shopping around

New Year's resolutions: pension planning (Image: Shutetrstock)

5. Plan for your retirement

Forgetting to plan ahead and prepare for your retirement can be easy, especially when times are tight. But the earlier you start, the better off you’ll be in the future.

So don’t put off starting your pension any longer. Even if you’ve already started contributing, try to increase those contributions this year.

Of course, if you’d prefer not to use a pension and are planning to rely on your Isas or property instead, it’s still important not to leave it too late.

From stocks & shares Isas to pensions, compare investment companies and what they cost (capital at risk)

6. Be more energy efficient

Millions of us are paying far more on our energy bills than we need to, so it's worth using a price comparison site to see if you can switch to another supplier and save a fortune.

And check if you're entitled to any free help by visiting the Energy Saving Trust website.

See if you can switch energy supplier and save big money

7. Get a better insurance deal

Whether it’s life insurance, home insurance, travel insurance, or car insurance, make 2018 the year to shop around and get a better insurance deal!

8. Earn rewards

Improving your finances doesn’t just have to mean making cutbacks. So the final New Year’s resolution to make is all to do with being rewarded for your spending.

Every time you shop online, make sure you use a cashback website such as Quidco or TopCashback.

And whether you’re shopping online or on the high street, it’s also a good idea to use a cashback credit card: just make sure you can afford to pay off the bill in full each month to avoid getting hit with a hefty interest rate.

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