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If you’re feeling rather blue now that the festivities of Christmas and the New Year are over, you’re not the only one. This is probably not helped by the fact that there’s still a few weeks until payday, but don’t worry – we’ve got a few useful tips to help make your money stretch that little bit further.

1) Plan ahead

When you need to make your money last for a set period, it’s essential that you plan ahead. Look at the expenses that you have coming up in the month and budget for any regular bills or minimum credit repayments that you’ll have to meet. Whatever you’ve got leftover once you’ve done this will be the amount that you’ll have to spend freely throughout the month.

If you’re really worrying that money is going to be tight towards the end of the month, you could withdraw some cash now and put it out of sight in a drawer or another safe place. Taking this cash out in preparation for the last week of January will ensure that you’ll have something left to spend while you’re waiting to get paid.

You could go one step further and do this for each week of the month – not having your credit or debit card to hand could be just the thing to cut out any temptation to spend.

2) Use your freezer

When you’re doing your weekly food shop, it’s good to know that most big supermarkets start to reduce their fresh produce at certain times of the day (usually in the evening). While money’s tight, try to time when you shop around this and you could pick up a few bargains that you could freeze and save for later on in the month. Here are a few other tips on how you could save on your supermarket shopping.

3) Cut down on unnecessary spending

We know how tempting it can be to pick up a hot drink on your way to work (especially when it’s freezing outside) but little treats like these can soon add up if you do them often enough. The same goes for buying your lunch at work. It takes no more than a couple of minutes to make your own packed lunch in the morning and it’ll taste so much better knowing that you’ve made it yourself and saved a bit of money in doing so!

4) Sell or return unwanted Christmas presents

As it’s the thought that counts when it comes to giving gifts, we don’t see any harm in returning or selling some unwanted gifts. If you’ve received a gift that you know you won’t use, you could simply take it back to the store. Whether you have a receipt or not, you may be given store credit or you could have the money refunded straight onto your card – returns policies will vary depending on the store.

You could also try your luck with auction sites like eBay. If you’ve got something that you think might be in hot demand try to put it up as close after the big day as possible, when people might have some spending money from Christmas. Even if you have things like old CDs or DVDs you could see how much you’d get for them using such sites as musicMagpie or Zapper.

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