2016 was a strange year. Not only did we lose some iconic names – including the likes of David Bowie, Victoria Wood and Alan Rickman – the world also witnessed the arrival of a new US president, while Britain decided to go its own way by voting to leave the European Union.
Closer to home, 2016 was equally tough. For a lot of singles, couples and families, the rising cost of living and the sluggish momentum of wages contributed to a year of cutbacks, leading to a sense that 2017 needs to be different.
If, like hundreds of thousands of others across the UK, you need to make your money stretch a little further in the 2017, be sure to try some of the tips listed below. Remember, even the smallest of savings can add up to a significant amount, which can make a huge difference whenever those pesky bills land on your doormat.
Go it alone
If you're sitting on a great business idea and feel like you're wasting your time in a dead end job, why not make 2017 the year you finally decide to go it alone? Setting up your own business isn't easy, but if it leads to a better income and a greater quality of life, then it's something that could be an option for you.
For a full rundown of everything you need to know about transforming your big business idea into a reality, be sure to read our guide by clicking here.
Sell your wares
Whether you're selling homemade crafty goods or everyday items, selling your wares online has never been easier. What's more, it can also be a great way of making a little extra cash on the side.
For crafty types who spend their time making everything from knitted hats to bespoke ornaments, Etsy is one of the places to set up shop. Home to thousands of users across the world, it really is the ultimate shop window for you to showcase your talents to a digital audience.
Alternatively, if you're looking at selling everyday items, such as DVDs, tools, electronics or even second hand books, Amazon is one of the sites for you. Not only is it the world's largest online retailer, it's also quick and easy to get yourself set up as a seller.
If you're living with a friend, partner or family member, why not pool your funds together and go halves on everyday essentials like food, bathroom products and cleaning goods? Chances are you already split things like bills down the middle, so why spend more money buying your own beans, when you could save money sharing the cost.
In a recent survey conducted by the team at 118 118 Money, we discovered that couples, in particular, were missing out on potential savings by totally avoiding financial discussions altogether. In fact, we discovered that a staggering 45% of couples only review their finances together once a year, while 18% of couples admit to having separate bank accounts.
If you’re in a loving relationship, it could be a good idea to take the time to discuss your finances – you never know, you could end up saving some money between you for future expenses.
Make a change
If 2016 was a struggle financially, you might want to consider making a few changes if you're keen to avoid a repeat performance in 2017. Fear not, we're not suggesting that you make any major lifestyle adjustments, but a few minor tweaks could make all the difference when it comes to your monthly outgoings.
To start with, if you're the type of person with lots of family members or close friends to buy for whenever their birthdays come around, try knocking a few pounds off the amount you spend each time you head to the shops. For example, if you have ten people to buy for throughout the year, knocking £10 off the amount you spend on each will save you £100!
As well as birthdays, try altering the amount you spend at Christmas time too. For some top tips on how to do this, be sure to check out this blog – who knows, doing some of these could save you a small fortune!
Other than Christmas and birthdays, there are plenty of other ways to save throughout the year. Quitting things like smoking, drinking too much and eating takeaways, for example, are just three ideas that won't just save you money, but may lead to serious health benefits too. Bonus!
Remember, if you're wanting to get through 2017 without counting the coppers, our blog is packed full of top tips and helpful hints that could save you money.