This time of year is always tight for money and it’s usually a time to tighten the purse strings. It’s no coincidence that restaurants offer loads of deals in January – it’s because no one is going out. Sometimes you can sort yourself out with a bit of careful budgeting, but other times there’s a need to seek professional help to help you climb out of that financial hole. If you want to get a good overview of your financial situation then using an online tool like the budget calculator from Creditfix is worth a go. It’s a good way to get a real and unbiased view of how you are managing your money.
Here are some of my tips for saving money and finding the cash to pay the bills in January:
- It’s often cold and dark at this time of year, so try to find ways to keep your heating and lighting costs down. I’m forcing my son to turn off all the lights he leaves on and he’s getting better at it now he realises he will be sent back up the stairs to do it. Extra layers help and I am wearing my body warmer inside to tide me over that last hour or so before the heating is due to kick in for the evening.
- If you are going to go out and socialize, be sure to check out deals. Don’t give your business to a restaurant that isn’t keen to do that to get your custom. At this time of year there will be plenty of choice.
- Shop around for any renewals you have coming up. If you can save yourself £50 on your insurance by spending quarter of an hour on the computer, then that’s a big win.
- Write down every penny you spend for a week and see if you can cut costs somewhere. I’ve stopped paying out for a locker at swimming recently because I noticed loads of people bringing their bags to the poolside with them. I go 4 times a week, so it will add up over the year.