With Christmas just around the corner as the advent calendar countdown begins and the obligatory Christmas jumpers come out for your winter wardrobe outfit, many of us will undoubtedly start to feel the pinch and we’re not just talking about our waistlines! New Year is traditionally the time to commit to improving our lifestyles, so fret not, now is the perfect time to review your finances for the year ahead and make your New Year resolution to make the most of your money. There are a few little things you can be doing to make your money go further all year round, not just in time for Christmas.
We’ll start with the insanely boring that we all put off – make a budget, it really can work. It’s easy to lose track of how much money we spend throughout the month and it can be surprisingly easy to spend £100 and not even notice it. Knowing what you have coming in and going out of your accounts will help to prioritise what you’re spending and reduce the amount you waste. It’s not an OCD task, really it’s not, but being aware of what’s going on will help you keep on top of things. Not checking your bank balance as an ‘out of sight, out of mind’ style tactic really doesn’t work! An online budget calculator will help you understand the money you have, what you spend it on and where you might be able to cut costs.
Before you buy – check if you can get it for free. You may not need to spend any money at all; check first to see if you can get what you want for free from online community sites like Freecycle or Freegle. There are real bargains to be had and sometimes you can find new as well as second-hand goods offered. In the spirit of community it's all about recycling, so you should give as well as receive.
Never pay full price – shop around and get discounts! There are lots of discounts around for you to get money off pretty much everything through sites like VoucherCodes, MyVoucherCodes and VoucherCloud. If you’re out and about there are apps, like VoucherCodes, which give you top deals on the go at the touch of a button. Also, before buying anything online, check to see you’re paying the lowest price by using sites like PriceRunner, Idealo, PriceSpy and Kelkoo.
Get cashback – when you buy online. If you’re an online shopper, make sure you sign up to a cashback site to receive money back on most items you buy. Established cashback websites like Quidco and Top Cashback have different deals with different companies, so it’s worth singing up to both. Plus, there are usually helpful introductory offers that you can take advantage of.
Money, unfortunately, doesn’t grows on trees and Santa doesn’t bring presents for free. But, you can find ways to save a little here and there and help make your money go further.