7 Ways to save money in 2014

A list of 7 ways to save money in 2014
With the cost of living ever increasing, we are all looking for ways to save money in 2014. Browse the checklist of money-saving ideas that might inspire you to spend less and make the most of the money you have in 2014

Way to save money in 2014 1:
Do you have credit? Is it at the lowest possible rate?
Start by trimming any credit you have. You'll save money if you can possibly transfer any existing debt on to a 0% credit card. If you have credit on cards whose 0% credit period has expired, and if your credit rating is OK, you can apply for a 0% balance transfer credit card and move the debt to a place where you won't be paying interest for a while

Way to save money in 2014 2:
Ensure any savings you have are tax efficient

If you have a little money saved, be certain you are not paying more tax on the interest that you need to. For normal savings accounts, your interest will be taxed at your standard rate, but savings schemes do exist in many areas where you pay ZERO tax on your savings, up to a predetermined amount, so long as you follow the rules. If you are in the UK, look for deals on 'Cash ISAs' : you can save a few thousand a year, subject to the tax efficient savings rules and often you can still have fairly instant access to your savings.

Way to save money in 2014 3: Resolve to have a 'spend less month' at least once in 2014
Fix a month in the year when you don't think you will be under financial stress. Here's my example: For me, I'll choose May, because this month I have a lower local tax burden (the local authority is generous, and I 'only' have to pay local tax 11 months of the year!). In May, I decide to look carefully at every single expense, and make sure a) that its totally justified and required and b) that I can't get a cheaper deal somewhere else. And I'm ruthless! Not a penny is spent without going through me first! This is the month where you could try a discount supermarket instead of the usual (are the 'own brand' labels ok for your tastebuds?)
Are you getting fuel for your car at the most discounted service station? Take the bank statement, and justify EVERY expense on it. If you don't 100% need it, ditch it!
Way to save money in 2014 4:
Consider your current mortgage payments

If you are a home owner, the mortgage is a great way to make savings, especially if you are on a fixed interest payment period that is coming to an end. If your deal dates back from when mortgage rates were a lot higher, then there is likely some relief coming when the fixed period ends and you revert to the current low interest rates. So now is not necessarily the time to think about fixing the interest again, because a lot of commentators are stating that it is expected that interest rates should remain fairly stable (and low) for most of 2014. If you are the sort of person who wants the security of being buffered from interest rate changes, then you will certainly be paying more than those who are on, or near, the base rate at the present time. And never underestimate the power of monthly savings by switching mortgage company if you need to. This could easily be the best way to save money for you in 2014 -- hundreds and hundreds a month, if you do it right.

Way to save money in 2014 5: Make a list!
Making lists is always a great way to simplify your finances! It can sometimes make things very clear. Wait for a quiet time, when you won't be disturbed, and carefully list all the monthly outgoings, and set them against the money you earn. Just what is left over? Is it really tight? From your list, provided its comprehensive, you can see what to trim and where to make savings. Keep only the essential expenses on, and ditch the rest. Don't forget to check your Paypal account -- have you got any auto pays set up on there that you forgot to cancel? I remembered to check mine last year, and found I was paying out 40 a month to something I assumed the vendor had cancelled for me 10 months before -- 400 wasted! So I thought that might be a useful reminder.

Ways to save money in 2014 6: Cut the cost of bills
It's staggering -- the cost of domestic fuel, in some regions, went up by more than 20% last year. That's not an error -- TWENTY per cent plus! While the domestic suppliers in your area all tend to put up their prices within months of each other, its always worth using price comparison websites in your area to make absolutely sure that you are not spending too much on fuel for the home. It's claimed by some comparison sites that you may be hundreds a year a better off by switching.

Ways to save money in 2014 7: Redouble your efforts to check insurances
From auto insurance thru pet insurance to medical insurance -- we all like to feel we have great cover, in case the unexpected happens. But are we paying too much? Most useful tip I can give you about insurance is that, if you pay monthly, many companies are charging insane amounts of interest on these payments. It'd be far less expensive, if you can manage it, to pay it one go, at the start of the year. I didn't realize this for a long time -- but why should they give us interest-free credit? Check each and every insurance policy for this caveat on the monthly payments -- some companies charge extra whilst some don't.
Also check you haven't been 'upsold' on your policy. You want just the right amount of cover, and no more. For example, it's no good taking our Payment Protection Insurance on your credit card if they don't cover self-employed people, and your circumstances changed from employed to self-employed recently.
As always, and this is key for all the money-saving advice, SHOP AROUND. Don't always take the first quote that you are given, even if it seems a great deal at the time. Check!

Bonus info on ways to save money in 2014

: Getting the best deal for any credit you have, for most people, is going to be the biggest money-saver of all in 2014. For more, see my dedicated credit card debt FAQ page, where I answer more questions like:
Should I transfer the balance on my credit card?
Do I need PPI (Payment protection insurance)? My credit card company is trying to sell it to me!
Should I transfer the balance of one credit card to another?
What do I do if I can't afford to make the minimum payment on my credit card this month?
Help! My credit card company is threatening me because I didn't pay on time!
I've heard someone say I can make money by credit card stoozing. What is that?