Jumbled January and Frugal February: Sorting Out Your Finances After Christmas Chaos

Even for the most financially savvy people, the start of the year can be a bit of a struggle when it comes to money. Even if you’ve saved all year and bought gifts in the months running up to December, chances are you will have had to spend at least some money from December’s budget. Things like Christmas dinner and extra food, cards, forgotten gifts, even postage and travel costs can all catch people off guard and can mean spending money you hadn’t accounted for. Plus in the new year, resolutions to live better can mean money spent on gym memberships or exercise machines, workout clothes and diet food. Most of us feel the pinch at this time of year, however with some careful planning you can set yourself up for financial success later in the year. And when you think about it, now is the perfect time to do it. We’re all partied out from Christmas and spent a month stuffing our faces on delicious food. Now is the chance to be a little boring, stay home and make savings so that spring and the rest of the year is a little easier. Here’s how you can go about it!

Sell Unwanted Items
After Christmas, most of us have lots of new items in the home which is fantastic. But what this can mean is we’re left with things we no longer have use for. Perhaps you got a new phone, tablet or tv leaving you with no use for your old ones. Maybe you received clothing vouchers and have updated your whole wardrobe, meaning there are lots of clothes you will no longer wear. Perhaps it’s kids toys that your inundated with. Whatever it is, sell the old now you have new, use Facebook marketplace, gumtree car boot sales and other methods to sell what you can and it gives you a chunk of money to either save or pay things off.

Get Out of Debt
If you financed any of your Christmas using credit cards or a loan, chances are that bill in January isn’t going to be much fun. Getting debts under control now will give you peace of mind and can also save you money too. One option would be to consolidate, this is where you take out a loan or credit card with a balance large enough to pay off all of your other debts (and importantly, close the accounts so you don’t spend on them again). You can get debt consolidation loans for bad credit so even if you have adverse history this is worth looking into. Consolodation loans and cards often have an interest free period meaning you have some time to bring down the balance as much as possible before having to pay any interest.

Make Cutbacks
After a month of indulgence, a few weeks of cutbacks might be unpleasant but they won’t kill you. Stop buying a morning coffee at Starbucks, buy a cheap flask and take your own to work instead. Stop buying takeaways, and going on nights out with friends for a little while. Not only will this save you money but will do your health a favour too! It doesn’t have to be forever, but making small sacrifices now will allow you to get back on track.