Make sure your New Year resolutions don't cost you dear.

That's the message from City of York Trading Standards to residents determined to make changes in the New Year.

Whether you've promised to get fit, lose weight, earn more or get out of debt, the following advice may make your goal less painful to achieve.

Get Fit - Memberships at health clubs and gyms soar at this time of year. Before you sign up, make sure you read any terms and conditions carefully - in particular, the minimum membership period, the notice period for cancellation and cancellation charges and make sure you will use all the facilities... not just the jacuzzi.

Lose Weight - Magazines and newspapers are full of advertisements for "miracle" slimming cures, promising drastic weight loss by just taking a tablet, drinking a special liquid, using a patch or wearing a bodysuit. Trading Standards receives complaints from people about slimming claims that they feel simply haven't delivered what they promised and the Office of Fair Trading has recently taken action against a company which made potentially deceptive claims about its product. To those eager to lose weight every new item and diet offers hope but, before you order, check with your pharmacist or GP to see if they are familiar with the product.

Earn more - Tempted by adverts offering fantastic earnings for a few hours work from home? Be very sceptical about any work opportunities that ask you to pay your employer up front or which offer financial returns which seem too good to be true. Beware - there are hundreds of bogus homeworking schemes.

Get out of debt - As the dreaded post Christmas card bills drop on doormats around the region, debt can become a major problem for many in the New Year. Beware of unscrupulous debt management companies who may give poor advice and charge high fees. Excellent free money advice is available locally.

For advice about consumer problems, phone Consumer Direct on 08454 04 05 06. If necessary, your complaint will be transferred to your local Trading Standards service.