Christmas is fantastic. But, it often leaves us with a huge financial hangover as we head into the New Year. We spend much more than we can really afford in an attempt to have the perfect festive period only to be left either struggling with debts, or barely managing to pay our bills in January. Few of us can afford to go out and buy luxuries in the New Year. But, coping with a money hangover doesn’t have to be too hard. With just a few small changes, you can be back in the black in time for February; and even well into saving for your summer break. Here’s how.
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[ctt template=”4″ link=”J9281″ via=”yes” ]Coping with a money hangover doesn’t have to be too hard. With just a few small changes, you can be back in the black in time for February; and even well into saving for your summer break. Here’s how.[/ctt]
Make Some Changes
January is the perfect time to sit down and look at your outgoings. Cutbacks are obviously the best way to save money, but it’s not always possible. Sometimes there’s literally nothing that you can cut from your list of expenses. There are, however, always changes that you can make. Look at all of your household bills; you may well be spending much more than you need to on things like gas, electric and your phone line.
If you pay by direct debit, the first thing to do is check to see if you’ve built up any credit. We often pay more than we actually use over the summer months, and it’s a good idea to have a little credit for the winter when you’ll use a lot more. But, you can ask for a refund if you’ve got credit, and you need the money. Just remember, you may owe more later in the year.
Next, check out different tariffs with your current provider. When we first set accounts up, they often put us on the most expensive, standard tariff until they are more aware of our usage. Most of us never change this.
Finally, check other providers. A price comparison site can help you to compare all the available providers in your areas to find the cheapest deals.
One of the best ways to cope with a festive overspend is to earn more. Even if you are working full-time, you could find ways to supplement your income online. For a little extra cash try online survey or review sites. For a more substantial income, try freelancing. If you are a skilled writer or photographer, you could earn as a freelancer selling your skills. Alternatively, you could earn money as a tutor or consultant in a field that you know well or selling things that you have made.
If you are earning money, it’s important that you use a Paystub generator to keep track of your earnings and declare your income at the end of the tax year.
Plan Your Shopping
One place many of us can save a lot of money is our food shopping. Try simple things like writing meal plans and shopping lists, as well as using cheaper ingredients and avoiding branded goods. It’s also a good idea to set yourself a budget for every week.
After presents and food, our next biggest festive expense is going out. After all the excitement, it’s great to have a quiet January. Cook meals, watch movies and enjoy staying in, recharging your batteries and saving money.
This is a contributed post.
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