It’s never too late to get on the road to financial success. There may be no such thing as miracles or overnight successes, but with a bit of forward planning, determination and hard work, you could turn your fortunes around and improve your wealth and overall financial happiness in the long term.

Even the biggest changes must start with a small step. DAC Scotland, which provided these 10 tips, offers expert advice and guides on dealing with your debts now to improve your situation for the future. But for the time being, here are 10 handy tips for improving your personal finances this year.

1. Spend Less Than You Earn
It sounds simple, but spending within your monthly income and avoiding going over-budget could make a much bigger difference to your overall finances than you expect – helping you steer clear of debt and other money worries.

2. Start a Savings Pot
Having some money set aside could give you a reliable financial buffer if you face an unexpected cost (e.g. car repairs) or help you fund a bigger project or purchase (such as DIY or a new household appliance).

3. Become a Bargain Hunter
You could save yourself a fair bit of money by being more savvy with your spending. You could shop around for the best deals, buy second-hand, keep your eye out for discount vouchers and money-off coupons and hunt around for the best online bargains.

4. Pay Off Your Debts
The sooner you can clear your debts in full, the sooner you can be debt-free – giving your financial security a boost and taking some pressure off your budget. You could also seriously cut down on the overall interest you pay.

5. Plan a Budget That Works
A successful budget is the key to well-planned personal finances. Work out how much you earn and how it’s spent – and regularly review your budget to keep it up to date.

6. Is There Any Money You’re Entitled To?
You could give your bank balance a boost by looking into any money you may be entitled to. Are there any benefits you’re eligible for but not claiming? Are you entitled to a tax rebate? Taking some time to find out could really pay off.

7. Cut Back on Your Spending
Consider ways of reining in your costs. You could switch to a cheaper energy deal, take a packed lunch to work or swap that monthly gym membership for a jog around the park.

8. Keep Track of Your Personal Finances
Setting reminders for your debt repayments on your phone and keeping a ‘money diary’ of what you spend every month could keep you in control of your money.

9. Turn Your Back on Bad Spending Habits
If you’ve been getting a takeaway a few nights a week, or buying a coffee on the way to work every morning, you may decide you’d be better off cutting out these costs and using the money elsewhere in your budget.

10.  Set Financial Goals For The Year Ahead
Are you planning a family holiday or wedding, or treating yourself to a new wardrobe/games console? Setting financial goals and sticking to them could help you save the money you need, so you don’t end up borrowing to afford things.

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