How to Get Your Finances Ready for the January Blues

The post-Christmas period is traditionally one of thrift. We’ve all splurged our pay-packets on an embarrassment of luxuries for our friends and families, and now we have to reign things in a little bit to keep the lights on. To make matters worse, there’s a tax deadline at the end of the month for self-employed workers, and thus the impetus to sort out our finances is that much stronger.

The best antidote for January financial blues is preparation. If you enter the festive period with a sensible attitude towards money, you’ll be in much better shape heading into the new year.

Budget

When you’re planning your expenses for the festive period, be sure that you set out a budget in advance and stick to it religiously. If you’re buying gifts for a dozen people, and you overspend on each one, then the cost can quickly escalate. The same applies to your shipping costs; go for a reputable courier like Parcel2Go, and account for the cost of delivery when you’re deciding what to buy.

Claim your Expenses

Throughout the year, you’ll spend a given portion of your income on the things you need to do your job. Whether you’re self-employed or on PAYE, you can claim these expenses back, but only if you keep a log of them and report them accurately.

Take Stock of your Spending

The best way to reduce your outgoings is to occasionally review them, and see where you’re spending on things that aren’t really important to you. If you’ve got a gym membership you aren’t using, a Spotify subscription you aren’t listening to, and half-a-dozen small Patreon contributions every month, then this can add up to a significant outlay; spend an hour pouring through your bank statements for the last year, and try to identify where you’re overspending.

De-clutter

If you’re like most people, then you probably have your share of unused items littering your property. Getting rid of these will not only make your house feel that little bit more spacious; it’ll also generate the income you can use to get through the post-festive period.

Avoid Borrowing

If you’re borrowing to invest in a new boiler or essential work on your home, then the cost of the interest might be justifiable (especially while interest rates are low). On the other hand, sticking extravagances on a credit card is going to be financially burdensome in the long-term: so don’t do it.

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