January can be a tricky month to navigate financially. We all enjoy the frivolities of the festive period that comes before, spending on gifts, food and nights out on top of our normal monthly outgoings. So, when January hits, many of us struggle to stretch our pay checks to cover the month.
Here, we set out some useful tips that will help you to financially survive this January.
Set a Budget
If you’re worried about your finances this month, setting a budget will keep your spending on track and stop you purchasing things you can’t afford. Start off by calculating all your definite monthly outgoings such as your rent or mortgage payments, household bills, food shopping and so on. Once you have a total figure, take this away from your monthly income.
This will give you the amount you have left over after your bills come out, so you can set a realistic budget for any further spending. Make sure you plan how you are going to pay for your essential expenses in advance and have an idea of what to do should any unexpected expenses crop up. It is useful to save as much as you can, in case you need to cover any emergencies such as boiler breakdowns or car repairs.
Make Extra Cash
There are plenty of ways to make some extra cash this January. Have a look through any unused items such as gym equipment, household appliances, clothes, jewellery or tech and get selling. Certain items such as phones, tablets or laptops will earn you a decent amount of money, so if you have any sat in a drawer unused, why not cash in?
No matter what items you uncover, you can sell them on an online sell-and-shop site like eBay. This will boost your disposable income simply by parting with some of your unwanted items.
Assess your Finances
Could you be saving money on certain expenses? Your phone bill for example is likely to be something you pay for monthly. If you’re not using all your minutes or data as part of your contract, it might be worth switching to a cheaper tariff. Likewise, bills such as gas and electricity can be slashed by switching energy provider. Check out some of the comparison sites available online to see if you could be saving money on your monthly household bills.
Cut Back on Unnecessary Spending
Do you really need a new watch? Is that new coat necessary this month? We can all get sucked in to the excitement of January sales shopping, but it’s important to reduce frivolous spending as much as possible.
If you can’t resist the shops, plan what you are going to buy before you leave the house. This will help to stop you impulse buying items that will end up unused. If you are more of an online shopper, try to limit your time scrolling on your favourite stores.