Your money in 2013

Money tips for 2013

Tallying up the figures post festive season and it can leave us asking where does it all go? Well, there was that killer Christmas party outfit. Then there was the drool-worthy Christmas dinner that even the in-laws were impressed by. And let's not forget the present shopping that even Santa and his little helpers would have been proud of.

Yes, as the bills roll in post Christmas, the reality of shopping til you drop can be brutal. Because, after all the fun and frolics of the festive season sometimes it isn't just our appetites that we've over indulged. Ok, so it can be scary but don't bury your head in the sand. Take the great opportunity to kick off the New Year and get your financial house in order. Not only will it set you on the right monetary path for 2013, it also helps for planning ahead for the next 12 months. And when it comes down to it, there are some ways to sort out your money now:

Money tips for 2013

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Experts recommend setting a budget. Do this by working out what you've got coming in each month, then work out those essential bills. And essential doesn't include the pretty dress from Topshop for Saturday night. No, essential are items like your mortgage or rent, food bills and utilities; stuff that you absolutely have to pay for every month no matter what. This will give an indication of how much is going in and out of your account on a monthly basis and make it easier for you to budget week on week and potentially save cash.

Yes, the s word, savings. According to some, as salaries are frozen and incomes are squeezed, it has left many households with little opportunity to put money away for a rainy day and savings are going the way of the dodo. But if you can afford to, it's worth trying to put some cash away because you never know when that rainy day may strike.

And what does this year hold for you? No, not in a Mystic Meg sort of way, but in a financial sense. Do you have a car that is going to need replacing, or maybe there's a college course you want to take? Then consider how you are going to finance this whether through savings or by taking out a low-cost loan, because it's always better to plan for big financial spends.

And what about doing a spring clean of all your bank accounts. If you've got ones that you don't use or store and credit cards you don't need, then close them. Not least because it will help strengthen you against fraud but also having credit cards and the like can also count against you, if, for instance, you're look for a mortgage.

Clydesdale Bank’s instant decision loan offers an APR representative of 5.1% on all loans between £7,500 and £15,000 (subject to conditions)

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