So the festive season is over. Santa has come and gone. All the gifts have been ooed and awed over. The Christmas tree and its trimmings have been packed away. The season is truly over. What might not be over, however, is the habit of overspending you have formed over the previous months coming up to Christmas.
I will be the first to acknowledge that it is not easy to do. But you must stop to take stock or finances are certainly going to get out of hand. In January you are going to notice an increase of some of your bills such as heating, lighting, gas, and food. This is especially why we would recommend that you try now to pull the reigns in on spending.
So let’s start off by thinking about what we can reasonably save on:
Save on the cost of heating
Whilst the heating bill will still continue to be higher at this season of the year, there are things you can do to conserve energy so that you do not have to pay too exorbitant a bill. I am by no means suggesting that you wear multiple layers indoors rather than putting the heating on. NO. If it is too cold, you will need to put the heating on. But try the following:
- Maintain a good ambient temperature in the home that is cozy and comfortable not vigorous and roasting.
- If the heating is on, windows should be closed
- At the family time, let the family enjoy some activity together in one room.
- Check if your home could benefit from draught excluders
- It might also be a good idea to check to see if you can get a better deal by choosing another energy provider.
Cut ties with Credit Cards
I know that my thought here might be controversial but bear with me. So many people go the entire year without a credit card, then fall for it as Christmas approaches! If you are one of those people, take my advice and physically cut the card, dispose of it and learn to live without it. I am not suggesting that you refuse to pay the bill. That would not be right. What I am saying is that you stick to your obligation and pay the bill off as soon as you can but outright refuse to use the credit card! What are your thoughts on this? My opinion on this is based on personal experience.
What to do with unwanted gifts
Let’s face it, we all receive gifts each year that we will never use and in fact, do not want. I’ll tell you what I do and you can decide if you want to follow. With unwanted gifts, I have a number of options. If the item can be returned to the store without a receipt, I take it back. that is always my first choice. If I can get the money back, I take it and use it towards a bill. If that is not possible, then I put the gift away for a birthday or Christmas gift later on in the year. For me, that is not just savings but a profit, because I did not purchase it in the first place.
Avoid the Sales if you can
Controversy again I know! Unless there is something specific that you are aiming to get, avoid the sales. This is a big commercial ploy to get your hard earned money into the pockets of big rich companies. Put your thinking caps on. Think smart. Have you experienced going out in the sales and getting something for cheap? Was it something that you really need and planned for? Well, there you go!
Cut Back on Food and or Drink
This is one area that many people overspend on over Christmas. Apart from the fact that most people think it is ok to overeat and drink at this time of the year, some people also have guests over and so have been accustomed to preparing food and drink for more people, but that season is now well and truly over. I really hate to see food wasted. Food waste really translates to money waste. If you go out shopping after Christmas to buy more than you need, you will be wasting your money.
Occupy Your Time in Other ways
Sometimes all we need is a distraction instead of going shopping after Christmas. Today, the house is empty as everyone has decided to go to see a movie. Well, I bet they come back with shopping that they never intended to get! Me on the other hand; I’ve decided to get the house clean and then go for a walk. Both of these are things that I enjoy and I haven’t spent a penny.
If you are aiming for a better year financially, I would advise you to follow the tips here and you are sure to save more for the things that are really important to you. These may include a holiday abroad, a downpayment on a mortgage, a wedding or for the coming ‘rainy day’.
Here’s an invitation too to join our Facebook group that is a caring community sharing tips on where to find the best deals. Come on in, we welcome folk from anywhere in the world!