January is a tough month, thanks to cold, dark nights and the post-Christmas hangover. The January blues are also not made any easier by the fact that money is tight after the festive season spending.
Although there is not much you can do about the weather, you can ease the typical January financial strain. A little careful planning will ensure that you are able to face the New Year in tip-top form rather than fretting about covering the bills.
Here are six ideas that will help you achieve that goal.
1. Set A Christmas Budget
Obviously, you will expect to spend more money during Christmas than you normally do. The festive season is one of gift-giving and nights out with friends, but you can map out a budget that avoids blasting a hole in your January finances.
This does not mean that you need to miss out on all the fun, just that you work out what you can afford to spend. Set a reasonable budget for present buying based on your monthly income and try to look for gifts that will let you stay within it.
When it comes to Christmas pubs and clubs, it will be a little harder to stay on track. You are more likely to enjoy the experience if you do not get hopelessly drunk though and easing off a little on that will also reign in your spending.
2. Look For Smart Shopping Deals
Many online retailers offer you cashback deals when you shop with them. This can be a great way for students and others on tight budgets to save a little on the things they need to buy.
Rather than visiting the site, you want to buy the item from, you go to one of the top cashback websites such as Quidco. Then you simply create an account with them and click straight through to the site you plan to shop at.
This is not the only way you can shop smarter either. Look for loyalty programs like the Tesco Club Card one to help save money too.
3. Make A Debt Management Plan
If you did not budget for the festive period, there is a good chance that you will be facing some financial issues in January. The worst thing you can do in that situation is stick your head in the sand and hope they go away.
It will be better to address the problems head-on, by working out how much you overspent and what your debts are. A problem never seems quite as bad when you break it down into manageable pieces.
Figure out which debts are the most pressing – e.g. mortgage repayments or rent – and pay those off first. All debts should be listed by priority, with any that risk your home or have high interest topping the list.
4. Clear Out Your Home
The New Year is about new beginnings, so why not ease those January blues by clearing your home of unused stuff. There is a good chance that you have items lying around that can earn you some cash.
Online sites like eBay or Amazon will enable you to sell books, video games, or other things that you no longer need. That can be a welcome cash injection after the December splurge.
Selling your clutter online or giving it to a charity shop is also a kind of mental spring cleaning that will lift your mood.
5. Plan An Economy Drive
Most people make resolutions in January, so why not set yourself the goal of saving money. This will allow you to get your finances straight again while also helping you recover mentally and physically from the festive excesses.
Cut out spending that isn’t needed. An example of this would be to take a packed lunch to work with you instead of buying one.
6. Find Fun And Free Activities
While you want to cut back on spending, that doesn’t mean you have to be stuck in the house all through January. You can plan for it in advance by starting to look for fun and free activities now that you can take part in.
One option would be to join an art class, while another is to do some voluntary work. This will let you keep to money-saving plans while helping you get rid of the January hangover by meeting new people and doing something useful with your time.
Ideally, you will beat those dreaded January blues by working out a strategy now, budgeting for Christmas, and making plans for next year. If you do not manage to be quite that organized though, you can minimize the problem through careful debt management and earning yourself some extra cash.
If you are interested in even more business-related articles and information from us here at Bit Rebels, then we have a lot to choose from.