Making your money last until payday can be tough in January, but there are a few ways you can help you reach the finish line.
An easy option is to get a cheap loan, but there are also other ways you can save yourself from getting into debt.
The average family shell out £ 821.25 on Christmas, so it’s no wonder our wallets feel a bit flat.
Many people are also paid at the beginning of December, which means it is an even longer period until the next payday.
Below, we’ve rounded up the easy ways to see you survive through payday in January, and it includes tips like selling your stuff or suspending your subscriptions.
Calculate how much money you have
The first step in budgeting to payday is figuring out how much money you actually have.
Examine bank and credit card statements to determine where your money is coming from, how much there is, and where it is all going.
Many of us overlook the little extras that can tip a more balanced budget into the red.
There is also lots of budgeting apps, and some banks even have their own online or app-based budgeting features.
Citizens Advice also has a full budget calculator.
Use cash, not your debit card
Once you know how much is in the bank, withdraw a set amount for the week.
Using your debit card can be deceptive because it’s easy to lose track of what you’re spending.
If you have cash in your hands, it is much easier to see when it is running out.
And once you’ve withdrawn a set amount of money for the week, really try not to go back to the ATM.
Give up luxury and unnecessary expenses
The first month of the year doesn’t have to be boring, even if you feel the need to, because there is a lot you can do for free.
From museums to light festivals, here are some of your options – and they’re great for the little ones too.
You can also treat yourself to an evening with a good movie and a good bath instead of going to the main street and spending the money you don’t have on sales.
Just because the item is discounted doesn’t mean that it is a good deal – only buy the item if you really need it.
Explore savings opportunities
When you have money, it’s easy to overlook wasting habits, but when money is tight, it’s time to explore ways to cut back on your spending.
Can your mobile phone contract be reduced if you bought a new one?
Is there a cheaper broadband deal you could get?
Another option could be to change your gas and electricity supplier – in fact, the Ofgem regulator estimates that you could save around £ 300 on your annual bills by looking for a better deal and then switching supplier.
If you haven’t changed in a few years, chances are you have a high rate.
Just keep in mind that the savings will take over a month to materialize.
It might sound complicated, but those little savings could make the difference between a desperate month and a doable month.
Sell your stuff
If you’ve got a bunch of things you don’t need anymore, January is a great time to get rid of them – and eBay is a great platform to use to sell them.
You just got a bunch of new stuff for Christmas, so try dating the old one, the new, and earn some extra cash while you’re at it.
Or if you have any Christmas gifts that you are not happy with, you can earn a lot of money by selling them too.
Make your own lunch
At lunchtime, it can be very tempting to buy a meal and a drink at work, but over a year, that little indulgence could cost you dearly.
It is estimated that the average Briton spends over £ 1,900 a year to buy lunch at work, which works out to almost £ 160 a month.
A great tip to help you save money in January is to make your own sandwiches for work instead of buying your lunch to save yourself a nice little sum.
Or as an alternative to sandwiches, make more of your evening meal and take leftovers to work with you instead.
Buy groceries in bulk and freeze them
By making the most of your freezer, you might make budgeting until payday a little easier.
If you buy in bulk, you can store the excess food you have in your freezer and use it later in the month.
You can also prepare larger meals for yourself and freeze any leftover foods.
Using your freezer this way will help the foods you buy last longer, and you shouldn’t have to throw away foods left in the refrigerator.
Rent your driveway
UK owners could do an average of £ 1,090 per year renting their aisles, according to recent research.
Perhaps surprisingly, Sheffield is the city where you can expect to make the most money at £ 1,539 a year.
It is then followed by £ 1,525 in London and £ 1,363 in Leeds.
There are a number of websites that you can use to rent your entry, but be aware that some will charge a fee.
What to watch out for when renting your drive
BEFORE you dive in and start renting your drive, there are a few things you need to do first:
1. If you don’t own your home, check to see if your landlord is okay with you renting the space.
2. Check to see if renting your parking space voids your home insurance – this may increase your insurance risk and therefore your premium or you may need a separate liability policy.
3. Check how payments are made through the rental website. It is best to withdraw money as soon as possible to protect your money should the worst happen and the business goes bankrupt.
Work at home
Are there a few days in January when you could work from home?
By staying at home, you will save on travel costs, although there is also a risk that you will spend more on heating.
If you can bear to wear a few more clothes and turn on the heat only at night, then go for it.
Put subscriptions on hold
The New Year is a busy time with a lot to plan for, so will you really have time to flip through this magazine or watch all of those TV channels?
By putting your subscriptions on hold, you can make January a little easier financially – if you’re in the mood for the latest gossip, you can find it all online.
But not all suppliers allow their customers this option, so we advise you to check your contract and contact the company directly.
Spend Reward Points
If you spent a lot of money this Christmas through loyalty programs, you should have saved up a healthy balance of reward points.
So why not put them to good use and spend them on essentials like food and toiletries this month?
With hundreds of different loyalty cards, these are the ones worth keeping in your wallet.
Get a loan
It can be tempting to look for shortcuts when you’re having trouble, and a loan should be seen as a last resort.
But if you really can’t afford to pay it all in January, you can get personal loans to help you get through a set period.
You should try to avoid payday loans as the interest on these is usually sky-high which means that even if you manage to pay off you will have to pay a huge chunk of your salary to the loan provider once you will be paid.
Fortunately for borrowers, a price war between providers means that you can now get a personal loan for as little as 2.8% per annum, but these are only available with banks such as Santander and Sainsbury Bank if you borrow more than £ 5,000.
Also, keep in mind that all loan rates are “representative” meaning that only 51% of successful applicants need to get the rate, so you can apply successfully but get a more expensive deal.
How do you find the cheapest credit card or personal loan?
IF you want to apply for credit, here’s how to find the best product for you.
- Review key information before applying. This should include the interest-free period, the interest rate, and other charges.
- Use a comparison website like MoneySuperMarket.com or GoCompare.com
- Check that you are eligible. If you do not meet the requirements, you could be rejected and this will have a ripple effect on your credit score.
- Check your credit score before to apply. You can do this for free by signing up for a 30-day free offer, but you’ll need to cancel before the period ends, or you’ll need to pay a fee.
- Only those with the best credit scores get the advertised rate, so it’s worth building up your history by never missing a payment.
If you’re looking to start saving, here is how you can save £ 1,500 in one year with the 365 day challenge.
Or if it’s out of reach, the penny challenge allows you to turn your change into £ 670 in one year, starting with 1p per day.
During this time, bloggers also revealed their top ways to make money in January – and you don’t even have to leave your house.
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