We absolutely love the Christmas season, and all that comes with it, from the daily chocolate to gift giving (and receiving). But, according to a YouGov survey, four in 10 Brits will have increased their debt because of the festive period, despite, unsurprisingly, wanting to start the new year in a financially secure position.
If you're worried about starting the new year in the red, don’t worry. These money-saving hacks will help you claw back some cash in2022.
Easy money saving tips
Cancel unused subscriptions
Ever signed up to a free trial for a service and then forgotten about it? Well, the chances are you’re now being charged for it and unless you take action to cancel it, it will continue to auto-renew.
So, take a look at what is coming out of your account and cancel anything you do not need. It’s easy to get caught out on free trial offers, so put a reminder in your diary to cancel them before payment is taken.
Equally, take a look at other monthly outgoings that you don’t need. Are you still paying for a gym that you didn’t use much? Do you have a TV streaming service that you don’t need? They all add up to hundreds of pounds a year, so ditch them and save money.
Be sale savvy
The first rule to remember here is "a bargain is only a bargain if it’s something you actually needed in the first place".
So, as tempting as the January sales may be, only buy something if it is something you need, otherwise you are just spending money, not saving it.
Stop using contactless cards
Seriously, we would all consider the purchases we're making SO. MUCH. MORE. if they were made with physical cash rather than a contactless card.
Although we're all using contactless payments more because of coronavirus, it’s important to keep track of your money. Take a look at pre-paid cards like Yolt to help you set budgets on your weekly spends by only uploading what you can afford to spend that week.
Take unwanted things back
Once Christmas is over, so too is the awkward 'pretending you like a gift' thing - and whether it's a pair of socks, a book you already own or coat that's two sizes too small: TAKE IT BACK. We're all guilty of saying we'll "do it tomorrow" and eventually being so lazy we miss the returns period, but you'll seriously regret not having that money when you're left with items you didn't want in the first place. Because of coronavirus, many retailers have extended their return date, so check what it is as you may still have time.
Or sell them online if you've left it too late
Sell any unwanted stuff online through Depop, eBay, Vinted or similar. Yes it's a lot of effort and yes it will end up consuming all your free time, but not only will it equate to a bit of extra cash in your account, but loads more free space in your home too. To boost your chances of selling, sell winter clothes
Look over your shopping habits
You might be a dedicated ASOS shopper or addicted to Marks and Spencer's profiteroles, but it's worth reviewing your shopping habits and seeing if you could get the same stuff, somewhere else. Whether that's food, clothes or general shopping, have a look at what you spend and where, and see if there's easy saving to be done. Remember, supermarket own brands can be rather tasty too!
Consider your contracts
(This one is almost definitely as boring as it sounds.)
Make back money you probably haven't thought about for months by looking at your phone, gas, electricity and wifi contracts and seeing where you could get a cheaper deal. You will save hundreds of pounds doing this. If you're paying for 4gb of data but only use 3gb, switch, and so on and so forth until you suddenly have far more money in your bank account and less unused resources on your statements.
Do Dry January
You might whine about how January is depressing enough as it is, but say you spend an average of £30 a weekend on a boozy night, cutting out the G&Ts for just 30 days (or the weekends..) would save you around £120.
There shouldn't be such a taboo about regifting things, providing the person you give the item to will actually like it - and the person you originally received it from will never find out. The same can be said for gifting things from charity shops, raffle sales or discount stores: if the receiver will like it just as much as if it were new, what's the problem?
Delete your credit card details from online shopping
Fresh year, fresh start. By doing this and manually having to type your details in every single time you want to buy something online, you will consider whether you actually need to buy it - or whether you're just doing it because it's super easy and you're impulse buying. Get into the habit of leaving things in your basket to considering whether or not you actually need them.
If you really want to claw back some money and make some savings in your life, it's worth just asking yourself again and again if you're just buying something for the sake of it. Will it change your life? Do you need it to make you happy? Would you rather have £20 in your pocket or another bottle of Prosecco? OK OK, so maybe sometimes it's the latter, but make the decision to skip the fizz once in a while and your pockets might feel heavier.
One way to tackle it is to give yourself a no spend week each month and see how much you save. P.s. that includes online shopping...
Review and refresh your budget
According to Chartered Financial Planner Makala Green, the beginning of 2022 is the perfect time to refresh your financial plans, or do a budget if you haven't already got one. Plus, since our priorities have changed a lot over the last two years, any previous budget you might have could be a little outdated now.
"It would help if you took this opportunity to reassess your spending, review priorities, and ensure that you're spending on the most important things for you and your future. It's worth exploring your top financial values and figure how your spending aligns," Makala says.
Clear and reduce debts
Clearing debt is a process, and as Makala says, it needs to be managed in stages rather than simply trying to pay off as much as possible as soon as possible.
"Start by working out how much you owe, then prioritise which debt needs clearing first, ideally the one with the highest interest or urgent debt," she explains. "Then pay as much as you can afford and try to remain consistent in payments until the debt is cleared. If you've got little or no money spare to pay debts, seek advice straight away.Consolidating debt can also be an efficient way to help reduce debt or interest and make paying debt more affordable."
Eliminate expensive habits
Most of us have at least one or two habits that cost us more than the unusual. Depending on just how expensive the habit is, it could be really beneficial to cut it out of your spending until you're in a more financially stable position.
"On average, people who smoke ten cigarettes a day spend £37.80 per week, or £1,971 per year (based on an average packet of cigarettes costing £10.80). So, just think of how much you could be saving," Makala explains.
You Might Also Like