11 Tips to Save Money & Recover Financially in the New Year
December is a crazy month for spending and January brings a much needed budget (reality) check. The beginning of the year is the perfect time for financial resolutions.
So if like me you're completely cleared out financially after Christmas and are looking for ways cut back and recoup some much needed money to get you back on track, check out these great ideas...
1 - Write Everything Down
Having a large family, Christmas time is very draining financially so I am always looking for ways to recover as quickly as possible in the new year. The main thing I have learned to do is keep track of absolutely everything. I use this free printable monthy Budget planner so that I can write down everything I have coming in, going out and available to spend (or pay extra off debt) and I find it a massive help to stop me overspending so that I can quickly pay off any debt from the previous year.
2 - Do a Car Boot Sale with all your Unwanted Items
No doubt your house is bursting to the rafters with new toys, clothes and gifts so there's no better time to have a mega clear-out. People make on average of £50 -£100 at car boot sales which can really help at such a penny pinching time of year.
3 - Go on a Diet
Lose weight, get healthy and save money! It's surprising how much we spend on junk food in a month, from takeaways to sweet treats and meals out! When we're on a diet we tend to avoid restaurants and certainly don't indulge in fast food deliveries so this can really add up to a great saving. Meal planning in itself can save a small fortune!
4 - Free Vegetables
Most supermarkets completely overstock vegetables such as carrots, spouts, parsnips and potatoes and will be giving them away for free after Christmas. You can make soups, stews and all sorts of meals to freeze or simply just freeze the vegetables as they are which will not only save you a fortune but help you on that new year diet!
5 - Stay In
Inevitably there's always unavaoidable celebrations in January such as someones birthday that you can't miss, but a night out usually costs a fortune, so why not try a night in? Games nights at your / your friend's homes are great fun! Someone brings the main, someone the dessert, someone the snacks! It's a hell of a lot cheaper, plus it's a chance to drink all that left over booze from Christmas.
6 - Give up a Bad Habit
If you have an expensive habit such as smoking or drinking, then why not make a new years resolution to give it up? Asides from the obvious health benefits you could also save a small fortune. Smokers and daily drinkers on average spend £10 a day on their habit, that would be £310 saved in January! win-win
7 - Freebies
Something large always seems break when money is at it's tightest, but before you buy any new big purchases - see if you can get it for free. A lot of people treat themselves in the January sales so chances are they will be getting rid of their old ones. Check out online community groups on Facebook such as Freecycle before dishing out any cash.
8 - Recycle Old Electricals, DVDs & CDs
Music Magpie will give you money for your old Ipads, Mobile phones, CDs, DVDs and games. This is one of many websites you can use to sell your electrical items for cash. They even send you a free postage envelope so it won't cost you a penny. They give you a price before you send off your item and you can change your mind at any time.
9 - Use Voucher Codes
If you absolutely do need to make any purchases, always check to see if there's a voucher code available to sweeten the deal, particularly for your groceries. Many supermarkets offer new customers money off their first online food shops, so you could give them all a trial in January to see which one is best for you whilst saving a few quid in the process.
10 - Get a Side Hustle
If you have the time, January is perfect to start a little side hustle to make some extra cash. A 'side hustle' is an extra job such as running a blog or a small business like selling crafts, services etc which allows you to earn some extra money outside of your 9-5, and it’s estimated that 40% of UK workers have one. Typically people do things such as selling Avon, Younique & Ann Summers or offering their services such as Photography, Fixing Computers and sewing.
11 - Sell or Return any Unwanted Gifts
We all get given gifts that we can't or won't use, so instead of leaving them go dusty on a shelf, why not sell them for some much needed cash. You can use eBay to sell absolutely anything from the comfort of your sofa. Remember though, not all stores need a receipt so you can actually get the full value price refunded in cash or as a gift card that you can use to buy something you need/want. It costs nothing to ask.
As always, if you have a great tip that we've missed then do give us a shout in the comments below!