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Saving Cash to Get Through January

Jan - 15 - 2014

Getting through the beginning of the year can be difficult, particularly if you were paid early in December due to Christmas. You may be struggling through January, and payday can seem like a million miles away yet, but there are things you can do to ease the pressure.

Your utility bills are likely to be higher during the winter months as you need to heat up water more often and heat up your home. People tend to take longer showers and more frequent baths in the winter in order to warm up, so your water bill could rise during this time too. In order to keep costs as low as you can, try not to waste energy in your home while it’s cold outside. Always opt for warmer clothing before you put the heating on, and start using energy saving tips and tricks to keep your home warmer for less.

For instance, you should always block off any draughts in your home by using draught excluders on doors and windows. Line your curtains with an extra winter layer when it’s coldest, and get a ‘chimney balloon’ to block off cold air (but only if your fireplace is not in use!). Wrap a sturdy piece of card with tin foil and insert this behind your radiators to reflect light back into the room, and light candles on your window sills (if it’s safe to do so) to keep the chilly air away.

Managing the money you have left properly is the key to lasting until payday. Do you know exactly how much you have in your bank account? If you don’t, then you’ll need to check this and budget carefully for the rest of the month. Think about all the things you need to buy (rather than want to buy) before your next payday. Food, toiletries, birthday presents and late bills are all ‘essential’ spends which you’ll need to budget for. Split up the cash you have left so that it covers these things and leave a little for emergency spending. Then you’ll need to be really strict with yourself and refrain from spending any money that you haven’t planned for until payday. This is very important – stray from the plan and you’ll run out of money before you get to payday.

If you find yourself struggling then you may want to sell some unwanted items (such as Christmas presents you were not that happy with) on Gumtree or eBay. This can give your income a much needed boost until you next get paid. It’s important that you don’t fall into the trap of getting a payday loan to see you through until February, particularly if your next payslip has already been spoken for. This is because payday loans need to be paid back in full by the time your next payday comes around. This can leave you with very little and so the cycle begins again. This then creates what is known as a bad debt spiral, which can be very hard to get out of.

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