Christmas has of course cost us all a fortune and even the sturdiest of purses could do with a bit of tightening after it’s over. But that doesn’t mean January has to be all doom and gloom; all it takes is a bit of craftiness and you could cut down on spending without making a real effort. To help you budget for the rest of the year, we put together some quick and easy hacks for January that will put you in better financial standing for the long run. Please allow us to present 5 winter hacks to help keep the wolves from the door!
1. Save money on your energy bills. One simple method is to draft-proof your windows by placing cling film over any older windows and use a hair-drier to tighten the second skin. There are a lot of different clever ways to heat your home, which we have blogged about before, but you could also take a closer look at your energy bills and consider changing suppliers. At any rate, energy companies will almost always try to put your bills up over the winter based on predicted readings… so to actually benefit from any savings you’ll need them to come around and read the meter.
2. Take advantage of the season and get some bargains. Now that Christmas is out of the way, why not stock up on all the holiday fare the supermarkets didn’t sell over December. The first week in January is the perfect time to load up on normally expensive gift packs of toiletries, food hampers, drinks, and other boxed sets that will last a long time, designed to sell at Christmas. You can save even more, if you make those purchases on a credit card that offers cash back rewards – just don’t forget to pay off all your debt each month via Direct Debit before it incurs any interest!
Image: Paulina Łohunko
3. Get your car ready for winter. We’been lucky with the weather but it looks like at last the Starks were right and ‘winter is coming.’ Cars behave differently in winter weather and to avoid any unwelcome bills, it’s best to be prepared. Halfords run a very cool and very poorly advertised five-point winter check service. It’s free and they’ll only try and sell you a few things, but places might be limited so contact them as soon as you can.
4. Make the perfect getaway. Why not follow the examples of the swallows and head south for at least a bit of the winter. Prices are cheaper as the hotels and restaurants will be desperate for out of season business and you’ll find there are many bargains to be had. You could save further by using one of the daily deals sites.
5. Make the most from your New Year’s resolutions. If you’ve promised to quit smoking, give up sugar or booze or even just promised to lose weight then January is the perfect time to save the pennies. Have a piggy bank handy and for every time you would have spent money on ciggies, crisps, or beer, pop a pound in the jar. By the end of January you’ll not only have saved money and quit a nasty habit, you’ll have earned yourself a treat!
Pro tip: Saving money is well and good but adding some extra cash to push your budget further is an option worth investigating. Check out this awesome list of money making apps for the savvy saver / money maker!
If you have any tips you’d like to share, we’d love to hear your suggestions on how to save money for the new year in the comments below!
Image Credit: Images Money