With Christmas over, it’s easy to look back and feel guilty about how much money you spent. We all feel like putting it to the back of our mind – after all, January feels like a long stretch until payday.
But just like we need to cut back on the mince pies to stop our waistline expanding further, we need to take action now before money gets even more out of control. The sooner you face your finances the sooner you can get your bank account back into shape.
Start by going back to your budget and seeing what you might be able to do without this month. If you don’t have a budget, Moneysavingexpert.com has a free online one or download an app to your smartphone.
Simple things like eating up what’s left in the freezer, buying supermarket own brand or inviting friends over instead of going out can save you valuable pounds. Challenge yourself to find activities with the family that are free, like going for walks or playing games. Instead of heading to out to the cinema, borrow a DVD from your local library and have your friends over for a movie night.
The more you can do to cut out and cut back, the less tempted you will be to overspend or take out further credit. Remember, it’s never too early to start saving, so once that next pay cheque arrives put a small amount into a savings account for next Christmas. After all, it seems to come around quicker each year, so getting ahead of the game is always worthwhile.
Once you have started, you may as well carry on. Make a point to regularly review your budget to see if there are any other ways you can make further cost savings. So make this New Year’s resolution, a choice to be in control of your finances, and not the other way around.
For help with budgeting, why not try the Christians Against Poverty free money management course.
A course is taking place in Magheralin Parish Church, New Forge Road, Magheralin, for three consecutive Monday evenings in January, starting Monday, January 12, at 7.15pm. For more information or to book your free place, contact Ruth on 0771 182 8965.
Or if you are struggling with unmanageable debt, Christians Against Poverty offer free advice. Call 0800 328 0006.