After the festivities of Christmas and the New Year the month of January can feel rather dull. This isn’t helped by the fact that, if you are paid early before Christmas, there are five or six weeks between the December and January payday, making January feel even longer than it already is. To help you last until pay day, we’ve got some top tips on how to stretch your money that bit further.
1. Leave the plastic at home
When spending on your credit or debit card it can be hard to keep track of the amounts that you are paying out and things can soon start to add up. This January why not leave the plastic at home and opt for only paying by cash instead?
To help you decide how much money you have to spend, draw up a budget plan so that you know what you will have going in and out during the rest of the month. Once you know how much you have to play with, set yourself a target of what to spend every week and only take out that amount in cash and you hopefully won’t be tempted to spend anything else.
2. Make your own sarnies
At lunchtime it can be very tempting to buy a sandwich and a drink from work, but over a year this small indulgence could cost you big. It’s estimated that the average Briton spends over £1,900 a year buying their lunch at work, with this working out at almost £160 a month!
One top tip to help you save money this January is to make your own sandwiches for work instead of buying your lunch to save yourself a nice little sum. For an alternative to sandwiches, why not make a larger portion of your evening meal and take the leftovers to work with you instead, or make a big batch of vegetable soup on a Sunday evening to last you the whole week?
3. Freeze it
Utilising your freezer could help to make budgeting till payday that little bit easier. If you buy in bulk, you can store the excess food that you have in your freezer and use it later on in the month. You could also cook larger meals for yourself and freeze whatever food you have left over.
Using your freezer this way will help the food that you buy last longer and you shouldn’t have to throw away food left in the fridge in the bin.
4. Wave goodbye to unnecessary expenses
As with buying lunch at work, most of us fritter away some money each month on things that we could cut back on. At times, when money is a little tight, these unnecessary luxuries should be the first expenses to go.
If you normally visit a coffee shop every week, or enjoy a takeaway every weekend, you could make a conscious effort to cut back on these treats. You could also cut back on any monthly subscriptions that you have, such as television streaming services and pick them back up once the month is over and your bank account is looking a little healthier.
If after making these cut backs you find yourself feeling slightly deprived, you could take advantage of the freebies that some companies offer. For example Spotify will let you play their vast catalogue of music on your mobile, tablet or computer for free.
5. Sell your stuff
If you have accumulated items that you no longer need or want, then selling them online could help you to earn some extra cash in January. You could even sell any unwanted Christmas presents that you have received.
Regardless of the type of product that you want to sell, eBay is a good place to start when selling a variety of things. If you’re looking to sell specific items, such as old CDS or DVDS, then you can sell them on to such companies as musicMagpie or Ziffit and Amazon can be a good place to sell books and many other items.