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Here are your New Year’s resolutions for a less stressful 2018

PUBLISHED: 11:47 29 December 2017 | UPDATED: 11:47 29 December 2017

Woman looking at bills and receipts on floor

Woman looking at bills and receipts on floor

(c) David Sacks

James Walker, founder of consumer rights group Resolver, shares his New Year’s resolutions for a less stressful 2018.

James Walker, from Resolver. Picture: Supplied James Walker, from Resolver. Picture: Supplied

I don’t know about you but I’m terrible at making New Year resolutions.

I can never think what to write – and I’m easily distracted. So by the second week of January, half of them have gone out of the window.

As the year comes to an end, I’ve been thinking about what resolutions we can all make, so we can have a stress-free new year.

More than 1.4 million complaints were made through the Resolver website in 2017 – and many of you have been in touch to share your stories, tips and guidance. So, thank you all.

I’ve got a lot of material to inspire me in 2018.

Here’s a few resolutions to get you started. Don’t worry if you don’t stick to them all (I won’t tell).

1. Don’t let things fester.

If something has upset you – from poor service to errors that have cost you money – speak up. Even if you don’t get everything you want, making your voice heard makes it easier to move on.

2. Do the ‘January audit’.

We all hate this one, but grit your teeth, make a cup of tea (or have a glass of wine) and sit down with your bank accounts and bills.

There are loads of free apps or spreadsheets you can use to balance your money.

Writing it down empowers you - and is the beginning of regaining control over your finances.

3. Pass on comments.

You don’t have to get in touch with a business just to make a complaint.

Lots of people use Resolver to pass on comments and suggestions. If a business could be doing some thing better, let them know.

4. Enjoy yourself.

Book a holiday, share an experience, go out for a nice meal. But be savvy. Book in advance, use vouchers and discounts and look for tips.

5. Ask for help.

If things go wrong, the sooner you seek help, the better. There are loads of free services out there for help with everything from debts to housing problems.

6. Be a good neighbour.

There will be older or vulnerable people living near you. Check in with them from time to time to make sure they’re okay.

Warn them about scammers, help them sort their bills, get the shopping in when you can.

7. Be less loyal.

Not with friends and family of course. Millions of us stick with the same banks, energy companies, mobile phone contracts and insurers. You get nothing for loyalty – in fact you usually get charged more.

Save the date your contact ends and change suppliers and save. It’s really easy these days.

8. Get informed.

Pensions and mortgages are the two biggest investments most of us will make in our lives. Yet huge number of people don’t know how they work.

These businesses are making a fortune from you - so make them spell out anything you don’t understand in plain English.

9. Declutter and help others.

As a nation, we may recycle more, but we chuck loads of stuff in the bin that could help other people, from clothes to electronic items and toys.

Unless it’s really knackered, someone, somewhere can use it. Check online to find out how to donate.

10. Set yourself reasonable targets.

There’s nothing wrong with being ambitious, but don’t get carried away with the resolutions.

If you’re giving up smoking and drinking, don’t hit the gym four times a week at the same time – improve your life in stages.

If you try to do too much, you’re more likely to give in.

Have an awesome 2018!

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