There are very few of us who don’t go into January without some sort of financial regret or hangover. It’s easy to overspend, or to fail to plan for Christmas spending beforehand and end up in more debt than usual. If you’re in more debt than you feel you can handle, then Creditfix can help you to get back in shape.
No matter how big or small your Christmas debt is, it’ll have to be paid, preferably well before you go for your summer holiday and certainly before next Christmas. Here are five practical ways to chip away at that financial ball and chain in good time.
Ditch the craft gin for January
Let’s face it, one of the things that makes Christmas so expensive is the socialising. You do way more of it in December than you do during the other months, so January is time to re-set the balance by reining it all in a bit. If you spend £40 every time you go out during December, then you need to find a way to either spend less each time or to go out less for a month. You could have a couple of board game nights – everyone else will be feeling the pinch so they might be grateful. Alternatively, opt for a cheaper tipple on a night out.
Review your utilities
January is a good time to call up all your utility providers to see if they can lower your bills. If they can’t, then you should switch to a cheaper company. The same goes for all those magazines, snack box subscriptions and so on. If you don’t read the magazines, cancel the subscription and if you find you can make your snack boxes much more cheaply yourself, then…you know what to do.
Have a sale of unwanted gifts
If Santa brought you some gifts that you know you won’t use, that are too small, too big, the wrong colour and so forth, then either return them to the store or sell them. The same goes for old console games, old consoles, books, kitchen equipment and clothes that have been superseded by gifts that you know you’ll use.
Get to the sales
If there’s one bright spot in January it’s the sales. However, don’t just rock up and buy a load of stuff because it’s discounted. Look for things that you know you need – boots, gifts for approaching birthdays, essential clothes, wrapping paper for next Christmas and even the odd luxury set of bath bombs. If you know you’ll have to buy it within the first few months of the new year, then if it’s on sale, bag it!
If you have a windfall, use it wisely
It’s all too easy to think of a windfall as free money that you can spend as you like. Of course, if you weren’t expecting your bank to refund its historical overdraft charges and you get £900, then yes you could spend it on shoes. Alternatively, you could spend £200 on shoes and invest the remaining £700, pay down your credit card debts or even make a mortgage overpayment. It’s dull, but it pays off because you’re cutting down on the amount of interest you’ll pay in the long run.
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