I’m not planning a revolution, or any revelations - but I have been thinking a bit about resolutions and the title was just begging to be written!

It’s around this time of year that people tend to eat and drink too much over the festive period and then announce some really drastic new regime for the new year which they will never stick to for any great period of time.

The obvious ones are to give up smoking, or cut down on eating or drinking but some people take it to extremes and vow to do all sorts of things.

In recent years if anyone has asked I’ve normally said that I’m planning to give up smoking in the new year - an easy task as I’ve never smoked in my life!  One year I made it a bit harder by saying I wanted to get my weight to twenty stone - not an easy task as I started the year weighing about ten.  Thankfully I didn’t succeed, and in fact didn’t try very hard at that one.

I was thinking earlier what I could say for this year, and came up with the idea of not just saying something but actually following it through and doing it.

This is rare for me, I’ve not been one for real resolutions in the past.  A couple of years ago I decided to start walking to work and still do that so there’s one which has actually worked and is probably doing me some good into the bargain.  I also vowed to eat more fruit a year or two ago - that has worked to a certain degree although not as well as it could and should have.

Perhaps I should give that another go this coming year - being healthy shouldn’t really be something you want to do simply around New Year though!  That’s something to bear in mind the whole year round, and I will try harder in future.

What I have decided on doing this year is saving money, or to be more correct, to stop wasting it.

I am atrocious at saving money for anything.  I don’t have a clue where my money goes every month, it just disappears out of my account and there is nothing there when payday comes round again.

I’ve looked at my statements in the hope that my card has been cloned and someone else has been spending it, at least then I could put in a claim and get it all back but it appears that it’s all down to me and me alone.  Bugger.

The worst part is that I don’t really have much to show for what I’m spending - if I was buying a new TV or some other sizeable piece of hardware each month then at least I would know what the money was going on, but I’m not.

So where does it go?

Mainly it must be wasted then surely, and a look at the bank statement seems to back this up.  A trip somewhere shopping can soon run up a hefty bill - recently I have been up to Glasgow a couple of times and returned home empty handed having seemingly bought nothing.

I was quite pleased with myself for resisting the urge to splash out on an iMac, new iPod or a plasma telly but on looking at the bank account it appears I spent enough elsewhere anyway.  A shopping trip doesn’t just cost you what you spend in the shops - there’s fuel or transport costs, lunch, coffee and dinner plus perhaps a trip to the cinema to round things off.

A great day out, but at a great cost too if you aren’t careful.

So that would be one way to cut costs a little - limit these days away, and also watch what is spent everywhere not just on the goods I want in the shops.

When out food shopping, I tend to like buying brand names - Heinz, Radox, etc - but is there really any need to spend more money just to get a nice name on the tin or bottle?  Next year is the year of trying out cheaper brands - if they taste horrible then it’s back to the brands I know and like though, but I am going to try them out.  Also need to take up more special offers - I normally do take advantage of things which are on Three For The Price Of Two or whatever, but half the time I don’t really need three of whatever it is and would be better off just buying the one I wanted in the first place.

Need to become a sensible shopper.

I’ve already subscribed to the magazines I buy regularly, which has cut those bills almost in half straight away which is a step in the right direction.

Between now and the start of the year I’m going to target the areas where I can cut back on money going out, before implementing the plan in the new year.

It’s not so much a resolution as common sense really.