Resolving to improve your life is a noble idea, and we're showing our support by counting down the top 10 most popular New Year's Resolutions for 2014 based on a recent online survey done by My Favourite Voucher Codes.
10. Move house (2%)
Whether your downgrading, upgrading, or just sick of the sight of the same four walls, you might be considering moving house. The problem is that even if you're moving into a cheaper place, you could end up losing money in the cost of the move itself. There's a number of different ways you could be saving money on your move, but it all starts with advanced planning and getting rid of things you don't need to take with you.
9. Give up chocolate (6%)
Something about the taste, texture, and smell of chocolate stimulates the pleasure centres of the brain, but we all know it is not a healthy food. Keeping chocolate cravings under control is tricky. If you really want to cut back or quit, try rationing yourself. Never, ever buy chocolate as an impulse purchase at a newsagent or in line at the supermarket. Choose when you're going to treat yourself in advance (one bar after dinner, for example), or keep a pen and paper with you to note down every piece of chocolate you eat and hold yourself accountable.
8. Spend more time with family/friends (7%)
It's easy to make this claim around Christmas, when you've just seen your family and aren't busy with work. If this is your resolution, then why not look through your phone contacts once a week and call someone you haven't spoken to in a while?
7. Spend less time working (9%)
For many people, less time working means making less money, but that doesn't have to be the case. Use just some of your time off to keep on top of your spending using Money Dashboard free budgeting software, and you'll soon see areas of your life where you were overspending and can cut back, meaning you can work less hours without too much impact on your lifestyle.
6. Give up alcohol (11%)
You don't have to miss out on the pub. Get a soft drink or energy drink, and be proud of your ability to resist when pressured by others. Your friends may be pouring their hard earned cash into a pint glass, but you don't have to do the same to spend time with them.
5. Quit smoking (13%)
Electronic cigarettes are cheaper, healthier, less smelly, and can be smoked indoors. It's a no-brainer.
4. Change job/career (16%)
If you think you can land a job that pays better than you currently earn, then you're in the clear. If you are starting a new career, though, you might have to take a cut in your salary. To make up some of the difference, find other methods of saving money on regular payments you make. You can start by looking for gas and electricity deals in your area through the Save section of our website, or similarly compare broadband deals to make sure you're getting the best offer on Internet, home phone and TV.
3. Get fit/lose weight (18%)
The trick to keeping up regular exercise is to find a way to make it fun. Listen to your favourite music while you're working out, join a five-a-side football league, or a badminton club. If money is tight, there are free ways to exercise like jogging, hiking or home aerobics. If you do join a gym ask about special deals for new members. The cheapest gym may not be the one nearest to you, so try calling your preferred gym and see if they will match the prices of their cheaper competitor if you sign up to pay by direct debit.
2. Get out of debt (22%)
It requires a bit of self-discipline, but the road out of debt is regular budgeting and paying off the highest interest debts first. If you have lots of debts to different creditors, you might want to consolidate them by taking out a single loan to pay them all off. The best loan rates are also available in Money Dashboard's Save section.
1. Save more money (31%)
The most popular New Year's Resolution is to save more money, and every week Money Dashboard provides money saving tips that can help you do just that. Whether you're saving up for a specific goal, or just want to be smarter with your money, make 2014 the year you get your personal finances in order.