From festive food shops, New Year’s parties and Christmas presents galore, it’s no wonder that December is the UK’s most costly calendar month.
The average household spends around £2,500 across the festive period, with Brits spending 29% more in December than in a typical month.
So, after all the festive splurging, here are a few top tips on how to get your spending back on track again.
Assess the damage
We’ve all dreaded checking our bank account after a month of non-stop spending, but facing the facts is the first step to moving in the right direction once more.
Take the plunge and check your bank balance. Whether it’s not as bad as you initially suspected or you’re deep into your overdraft, understanding the damage that’s been done is essential to deciding on the restorative measures you need to take.
Budget for the new year
Once you have taken stock of your financial situation, consider making a budget you can stick to for the new year. Focus first on the bare essentials like rent/mortgage payments, other bills and food and exclude any unnecessary spending.
If your online banking app allows it, it can be helpful to separate your finances into different savings pots. You could have one fund for your essentials and another for treats. This will make it easier to stick to the budget you’ve set out and avoid you unknowingly frittering money away needlessly or missing out on doing something when you can actually afford it.
Return unwanted gifts
With many retail stores enforcing a Christmas returns policy, you should have until the end of January to return any unwanted gifts or items you’ve received over Christmas. You may be able to get cash back and put that towards something essential.
Avoid new subscriptions
It can be tempting to jump on the “new year, new me” bandwagon and be persuaded by gyms to take out new memberships at the start of the year. However, these can be costly and when you’re already trying to claw your way back from the damage over Christmas, such expenditure ought to be put on hold – at least until you get everything back in order.
But you can still adopt a new and healthy lifestyle without breaking the bank! Getting up early to go for a run or doing home workouts can be a great way to exercise for free. You’ll find there are tonnes of free fitness videos on YouTube you can utilise.