We’ve all done it – we’ve overspent during December, and with the early pay day, it’s easy enough to run low on money sooner rather than later when January rolls around. From replacing money spent during the holidays, to maybe shelling out a little too much on New Year’s Eve, thousands of us are tightening our belts this month just to make ends meet and while short term loans are there in the case of a financial emergency, saving the pennies is a must to get through to the holy grail that is January pay day. So how can you actually deal with the longer month? Is there actually any fool-proof way to avoid scraping the bottom of your wallet? Well, that all depends on your situation, but here are a few tips that might just help.
Leave Your Cards At Home
A great way to make sure that you don’t spend more money than you can afford, is to make sure that you don’t have more money on you than you need and sometimes the best way to do that is to leave your cards at home. Only draw out the money that you’ll need for the day – or even the week – and only take this out with you. While we advise taking an extra bit of cash for emergencies, this must stay as an emergency fund! In fact, keep it separate from your main money to differentiate far more easily. If you aren’t carrying your card, and therefore extra money, with you, then you can’t actually spend more than you intended to. It’s that simple!
Cut Down Unnecessary Expenses As Much As Possible
We know how much you’ll miss those morning coffees or that Wednesday takeaway, but trust us when we say that not having them for a month won’t do you or your bank account any harm. If you’re especially strapped for cash this month, try and opt out of eating out, or spending money on things that you don’t really need. Monthly subscriptions can also be a money drain, so try and cut down on these two if it’s possible without causing too much disruption! Of course, these cut backs all depend on your lifestyle, but little luxuries that you could live without should be the first cuts made when you’re running low on funds.
If you usually struggle during January, it could be worth planning your budget well in advance. After all, you never know what money from your November/December pay cheque you could save to help you through January! Try and make payments on any debts you owe in advance, and maybe even pick up a few extra groceries that will keep until the end of January just in case. Having a well-thought-out budget will also do wonders for your bank account – after all, knowing what you have available to spend at any one time will stop you from going over what you can realistically afford.
Bring Your Own Lunch
One thing that people might not realise is just how much money you can spend buying lunch every day as opposed to buying the things to make lunch. By making and bringing your own lunch to work, you can cut your spending significantly, and you could even have more freedom as to what you’re eating every day. After all, by making your own food every day you can decide what you want when you want it, rather than being limited to the food options around your workplace every day.
Sell Your Stuff
This one is more for those of you who might not feel guilty about passing on unwanted gifts, but we all know that Christmas can come with a lot of presents that we might not necessarily want. This year, rather than putting them up in the loft never to be seen again, why not sell them on? Someone else might appreciate that unwanted gift more than you, and you’ll have the little extra cash to get you through the month as well. This option isn’t for the faint of heart, but it’s an option if you really do begin to struggle.
However much you struggle this January, there are things you can do to cut down your spending just that little bit more. With the right budget and plenty of planning, you could be well on your way to a much more relaxing month.
Generic advice is not a service regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority.