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Editor’s Note: This is a guest article from Elizabeth Flanagan
January is traditionally a tricky time for the finances. We spend more than usual over the Christmas period and many of us also receive our wages early in December. This can make for a rather long and cash-strapped new year.
Here are just five ways you can make your money go further in January.
Say Goodbye to Convenience Groceries
If you really want to make the pennies stretch, convenience foods are out of the window. A big area of saving can often be in working day lunches. Don’t go out and buy a sandwich. Instead, make your lunch at home the night before and take it with you. It’s surprising just how much you can save in doing that. Eating out in general is out of the question if you’re on a tight budget, I’m afraid!
Unwanted Christmas gifts? Niceties aside, there’s little reason for you to keep a brand new gift that you will never, ever use. Get onto eBay or a similar site and see what you can earn for your gifts. Similarly, if, like me, you find you get loads of vouchers for various stores in your Christmas stockings, these sell well on eBay too. And although you might not get quite the full value, you will probably find you get almost its face value!
Recycle your old mobile phone
Most of us have old mobile phone handsets sitting around our houses. There are plenty of websites offering a service whereby you send the phone in and they pay you cash for it. Try http://www.envirofone.com/ for example or run a Google search to find similar facilities local to you!
January is the time to cut back on those expensive nights out. By the time you’ve spent money on transport and a few drinks, the cost really begins to mount. Tie it in with a New Year’s resolution to stay booze free over January and watch both your body and your bank account benefit! You can substitute an expensive cinema trip with a night in front of a DVD with some supermarket popcorn too.
Where possible, try to use cash for as much of your spending as you can through January. It’s surprising how much difference it makes to your spending habits when you have to physically hand over money and can therefore visibly see it leaving your possession. Decide how much you have to spend that week, withdraw it in cash and don’t allow yourself any further spending. Credit and debit card spending seems to make us far less frugal simply because we can’t actually see the money being spent. Not only that, but credit card charges and interest mean that spending on plastic can often mean everything costs that little bit more!Of course, these tactics don’t have to stop as soon as your February wages go into your bank account. They’re common sense tactics that you may find can help you budget better all year round.
Elizabeth is a contributor at www.moneybright.co.uk
Image courtesy: Thowra_uk
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