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New Budget: January Budgeting Tricks Anyone Can Use
The January blues have well and truly set in. Although last Christmas may have been one to remember for all of the wrong reasons, many people are still struggling with the financial implications. COVID-19 meant that we couldn’t celebrate the way we would usually like to, and some people over-compensated for this by buying extra gifts and giving even more money to loved ones. It feels good at the time, but January hits, and we suddenly realize that we could be in a little trouble. So, if you’re looking for some January budgeting tricks that you can use now and year-round, take a look below:
Have a ‘No Spend’ January
It’s usually easier to have a ‘no spend’ month in January than any other month. The ghost of Christmas past still lingers, and we may still be reeling from some of the lavish purchases we made when we felt festive. Of course, you can still buy essential things, such as toilet rolls and food. However, things like clothes, takeaway meals, and things we don’t really need are out of the question.
New Budget: Figure Out What You Really Don’t Need More Of
Do a stock take and figure out where you may have been overspending last year. Maybe you bought a ton of books that you are yet to get through – do you really need that new novel by your favorite author? It’ll still be there in a few months! Small changes like this can make a big difference to your week on week spends. The small purchases really add up.
Take A Look At Bills/Subscriptions That You Can Cancel
Have a look at your bills and subscriptions and see what you can cancel. Maybe you can cancel that recurring beauty box subscription for a few months, or perhaps you could swap your phone contract for a simple pay as you go, model. It may seem not easy now, but you’ll quickly get used to it and love the money it frees up for you.
Always Go Shopping With A-List
If you go shopping without a list, you run the risk of buying things you don’t need. This is how both money and food gets wasted! If you have a good idea of what you’re going to cook in the week, you can make sure you maximize your weekly shop and shopping budget. Buy foods that tend to stretch, too, and you can make fewer trips to the store.
Find Free Ways To Have Fun
There are so many free ways to have fun. We all miss going to watch a movie, but how about a long walk with someone you love instead? If you have books at home, even books you’ve read before, reading can be a lot of fun. Get creative! You could potentially write something or paint a picture. You can make art with nothing more than a pen and a scrap piece of paper. You don’t need to spend a fortune to do fun things.
Write Down Everything You Spend
Writing down everything you spend can make you more aware and mindful of where your money is going. It can make you stop and think before you make that impulse buy. Write down even the smallest purchases, such as gum. This way, you can take stock at the end of the week and get an idea of how you may have been able to cut back and where you can improve next week.
New Budget: Know Your Numbers Like The Back of Your Hand
Make sure you know your numbers like the back of your hand so you can improve where possible. Using a paycheck calculator can help you, and you can then split the money you earn into acceptable amounts for bills, food, and entertainment. Don’t ignore your numbers!
Come Up With A Debt Repayment Plan
If you’re in debt, one of the best things you can do is develop a debt repayment plan. If you’re not sure how to go about this, try speaking to a financial advisor or somebody with a relevant qualification who can help you. There’s always a way out of debt, whether you have one credit card to pay off or multiple. Make this your priority, and have laser focus on your goal. Once you’ve done this, you can come up with a plan to avoid using them again – most people like to save an emergency fund so that they can avoid getting into debt when they have an emergency.
New Budget: Raise Cash By Selling Unwanted Wears
You can raise more cash by selling things like Christmas presents you know deep down you won’t use. Sell on items that you no longer want – even used items. As long as the items are still usable or even recyclable, people will likely buy them. One man’s trash is another man’s treasure!
Come Up With Goals That Resonate With You on A Deep Level
You will have a much more successful time at budgeting if you can set budgeting goals that resonate with you on a deep level. What do you really want from life, and what goals can you set to help you get closer to those goals? Picking somebody else’s goals could help you for a while, but if it doesn’t resonate with you, then you are unlikely to stick to it. Having a way of tracking your progress can be a great help, too, as it could help you when your resolve begins to waver.
Stop Eating/Ordering Out
Eating at restaurants and ordering takeout can be a big drain on your finances. If you love doing this, perhaps you could limit it to once per month. If you’re currently doing it once per week, you could be spending the equivalent of one full food shop on just one meal!
Unsubscribe From Tempting Emails
Are you the kind of person who is tempted by your emails? Maybe you can’t resist checking out a sale from one of your favorite clothing retailers. If this is the case, you could unsubscribe, even if you only do so for a little while. When you remove the temptation, you are much less likely to spend money that you haven’t got. Plus, you’ll often find that you’ll forget all about that sale in a few hours, and when you remember, you’ll be glad you didn’t buy anything on a whim after all!
New Budget: Don’t Impulse Buy
Impulsing buying is something we’re all guilty of, and we do it for different reasons. Oftentimes, we do it for a quick hit of the happy hormone we get when purchasing something new. This is why so many people love ordering multiple packages a week! It could also be why you like to pick up extra items that you didn’t really need at the supermarket tills. Be more mindful of when and why you impulse buy – are you bored? Feeling sad? Try to become more aware and do something healthier, such as taking a luxurious bath and reading a good book.
Are you ready to implement your new budget for the new year? Just because you’re budgeting doesn’t mean you need to go hungry and feel bored. If you get creative, you can come up with an abundance of things to do, and at the end of January, you might decide to keep some of your new techniques in place. Thanks for reading – leave your comments below!