The start of the New Year is always a time for optimism. It’s the time to plan, and to put into practice all those good intentions, it’s also a great time to have a look at your finances and see how you can make the most of your income.

Do up your house before selling

With an increasingly buoyant housing market, 2015 may be the year that you decide to sell your house. This exercise will add value to your property but, thanks to other financial commitments, you may find yourself stretched for cash and unable to afford the necessary home alterations.

A logbook loan from is a useful option if you’re trying to raise funds in a hurry. You could be able to borrow up to £ 50,000 depending on the age and make of your car, and the repayments are made in manageable weekly or monthly instalments. As a short-term loan this is an option that will suit those with a bad credit status, or those who need money quickly, but don’t have the time to wait for a decision from their bank. All loans can be expensive, but if you need the money quickly, for business or pleasure, then this is an option that may suit you.

Get the savings habit

It’s never too early to start saving, and 2015 may be the year when you develop this habit in earnest. An article in The Daily Telegraph suggests that you carry out some research, before you select a savings account. Many of the glossy ads that are around at the moment try to attract custom by offering a very high savers’ interest rate of 6%. The problem with many of these accounts is that they only offer this attractive rate for 12 months and then the rates slide down to a miserly 0.05% in some cases. Make 2015 the year that you always read the small print and ask plenty of questions about the account.

Start planning ahead for a brighter future

If you’re a bright young twenty something, you probably find the whole idea of pensions to fund your future retirement quite irrelevant. After all, if you went to university, you’re probably still having problems trying to repay your student loan. The sad fact is that you should start thinking about your pension as early as possible, because if you leave saving for your retirement until you’re in your forties, you’ll find it increasingly expensive to put by a certain amount each month to go towards your pension pot.

If you work for an employer, have a look at the government’s workplace pension scheme. This is a relatively painless way of putting money by on a regular basis, and according to The Guardian your employer will match every £1 you put into the scheme with a 50p contribution. The newspaper suggests that for higher rate tax payers this is a ‘no-brainer’ as you’ll be paying in 60p ( £1.00 minus tax relief) and get out £1.50.