Avoid a Debt Hangover this New Year
We all know how it feels to have the pressure to spend more money than we should Christmas time. The Christmas cheer is flowing and you’re feeling flush. Spending at Christmas time comes all too easily. From turkeys and treats to presents and pies, money can seem a throw away commodity. (For top tips to save this Christmas, you can read our blog here).
All too quickly January arrives and we’re left picking up the pieces from our Christmas blow out. You dread looking at your bank account, you’re sick of tidying up wrapping paper, and if you have one more turkey and ham sandwich you might be sick.
Figures released by debt advice charity National Debtline show one in seven people worry about money “every day” in the run-up to Christmas. But it doesn’t have to be this way. With a few simple tips and tricks, January doesn’t have to be such a headache. January is the best month to start afresh. Everyone is suffering from the post-Christmas financial hangover and they want to start their year off in the best way possible. We’ve spoken to many different people about how they make their budget stretch throughout the long winter months.
Here are some of the best money saving tips that we have collected:
Make your meals go further. Batch cook your favourite foods and stick them in the freezer for those hard days close to pay day. If you’re a new parent, batch cooking your baby food at the same time is a great way to save time and money.
Make a meal plan
Planning ahead ensures that you have all the food in the house that you need for the week so you’re not tempted by impulse purchases. And we all know we don’t make the best decisions when we’re hungry! It also reduces the amount of food that goes to waste.
If you’re someone like me and can’t resist a bargain on a shelf edge of a supermarket then do your shopping online. Write your list and add it into your basket without having the temptation to add those extra biscuits in. Most supermarkets offer a ‘click and collect’ option which is usually only £1 which is much cheaper than a huge bill!
January is a great time to buy things for next Christmas. There are always bargains to be had for gifts for next December. Wrapping paper and cards are always reduced to clear and you can save some pennies as long as you have somewhere to store them!
Unwanted Christmas presents
Did you receive something you already have 5 of? Or something you know you’ll never use? Why not sell it online? Or, if you’re like me, put it away in a ‘present box’ for those times when you’ve forgotten a birthday – just remember who gave it to you in the first place!
Why not sell your old CDs, DVDs, and games and make room for all your new Christmas gifts. There are plenty of websites and stores that offer cash or store credit for your pre-loved goods.
Need something for your house?
Before you check out the January sales for that much-needed new sofa, why not see if you can get it cheaper (or even better, free!) elsewhere. Try eBay, Gumtree, or Facebook to see if they have something you like. Even your local charity shop has some surprises!
Save, save, save
January is the best month to start your savings account. Even the smallest amount can help. Think about what you want to save towards. Give yourself a goal and it makes it much more rewarding.
The best way to blow the cobwebs away is to get out and get active! Physical activity can help you feel better in lots of different ways and it is a great way to start 2019. It does not always need to involve financial commitment. There are plenty of free alternatives available and can also be a great way to socialise and meet new people.
By just making some of these changes this could make a huge difference in giving you some peace of mind this Christmas and you will be in much better shape to start 2019.