Happy New Year and welcome to our New Year financial survival guide! For many, the New Year marks the time for making financial resolutions, starting new saving habits and beginning the year on a positive note.
This may seem like a daunting task, especially after the last two years of living through a pandemic which may have affected income and bank balances for many. Throw in the fact that we have just come off the back of one of the most expensive months of the year and it may seem like the next payday is a long way away, however we have got your back!
Avoid the hangover and expense of December and beat the January blues with our simple New Year financial survival guide! Keep on top of your finances this New Year, get organised and optimise your finances. Not only should you find extra cash and avoid unnecessary spending, but you will build the financial foundations for 2022 to be more fruitful.
Follow our New Year financial survival guide and let us know how money savvy you begin to feel…
Give your inbox a Spring clean. We all love a good deal and discounts for being on a newsletter list but the reality is that you’re being sold to. Take the plunge and hit unsubscribe. What you don’t know about will not hurt your wallet. After all, ignorance is bliss.
At the bottom of the email there is a link to unsubscribe. Click this and follow the prompt to confirm you’re unsubscribing from the newsletter. Simple.
Check your subscription packages – these packages include:
Check which ones you haven’t used for a while or ones that are expensive and cancel them. You may shock yourself with how much you have been spending each month.
Avoid multiple shops per week by making meal plans and sticking to them. Factor lunches into the weekly shop and this will help you avoid eating out during the week. Make larger portions for dinners and take leftovers for lunch the next day. Alternatively, plan to batch cook some meals at the weekend and freeze them.
Pro tip: have your list ready before heading to the shops. This will avoid forgotten items and venturing off the path! Plus steer clear of the centre aisle deals. As tempting as they are always ask yourself “do I NEED this” and “is it on the list”… If the answer is no AVOID! Lastly, do not go shopping when you’re hungry! You’ll be less tempted to buy treats.
The average cost for a coffee from your favourite coffee shop is around £3, so avoiding these per day would save you £15-20 per week, which is around £80 per month saved!
Pick up your coffee or favourite teas in your weekly shop or get your local coffee shop beans ground ready to enjoy. Invest in a device to brew your tea or coffee on the go (check out an Aeropress, cafetiere or a tea strainer if you have loose leaf tea). This little extra effort will ultimately save you money in the long run.
It is super easy to jump onto Uber Eats, Just Eat or Deliveroo from your phone. Stop doing this! Instead, why not try cooking a fakeaway? Not everyone has amazing cooking skills but there are plenty of free websites that could give you step by step instructions on how to cook a tasty meal.
If you really do not have the inspiration or motivation to find a recipe, then you could download Jamie Oliver’s new app. Yes, there is a nominal monthly fee involved but if you’re going to use it and avoid spending money on takeaways, then it is a good investment.
The New Year is the perfect time to have a look at your services and see if you can find a better deal. Even if your current deal isn’t up for renewal, still have a look and plan ahead. Jot down the renewal dates and set calendar reminders to prompt you to start the search.
The New Year is prime time for health and fitness deals enticing you in. However, ask yourself is there a better way to stay healthy and exercise for free or at lower cost than joining the gym?
Walking and running are great forms of exercise and are inexpensive to do. Also, you may be able to find cheap weights, kettlebells or fitness machines (rowing machines or static bikes) on eBay or Facebook Marketplace.
Have a look on Google or YouTube for ideas and programmes to follow. You can also search for local clubs or events via Google and Facebook to get you started, such as Park Run which is a free organised 5K run/walk that takes place every Saturday.
How much time do you spend scrolling those online shopping apps? How easily do you turn to them and click “buy now”?
If you are caught out by the never-ending discount notifications and the excitement of a next day package delivery then now is the time to delete those apps off your phone. Try it for three months and see how much you save.
We understand that certain apps can’t be parted with (the app named after a certain rainforest springs to mind), so why not delete your card details or PayPal off the platform instead? That way, you’re pausing between placing something in your basket and hitting the buy button to think about whether you actually NEED it.
Something else to consider: Avoid buying things that you cannot afford. Buy Now, Pay Later schemes are very tempting but remember that they are essentially loans and carry a high interest rate if you fail to meet repayments.
Being in debt with credit cards and loans can put pressure on your monthly outgoings, so check to see what you owe and who to using credit search facilities. There are often deals available to move balances between cards or loans.
But remember, moving credit around may incur transfer fees increasing your overall debt. Balance transfers and loans are temporary solutions and the debts still need to be repaid. Also, please bear in mind you may not qualify for the advertised deal when you apply. Be sure to check the details of the agreement before going ahead.
Asking for a pay rise is not always feasible, nor is working two jobs to boost your current income. However, there are other ways of doing so. We have already written a series on this so why not check out the posts on boosting income here, making money from giving your opinion here and earning money from home here to see if any ideas interest you.
You can follow the above tips and be really successful in saving money and making financial changes to your daily life. However, if you want to take control of your finances in 2022, you need to carry out a money overhaul. Read our blog post about exactly what that entails and good luck!
As always, if you need expert financial advice on your debts, then contact us. We may be able to help or point you in the appropriate direction.