Budgeting in January
The tinsel and turkey is gone, ‘auld lang syne’ has been sung and the debris of Christmas and New Year festivities recycled. Even the Boxing Day sales started in November and we finally got paid in January. January is a long month for many.
The only thing to complete our start to 2014 is of course those bank statements and credit card bills that have arrived.
January is traditionally a ‘lean month’ for many and given that we may spend a few dark evenings in until payday, by “servicing” your money, it will put you in good stead for the rest of the year.
How to Plan for January and February ….
Food – reassess your food bills. Could you buy it cheaper? Read the offers, check them out and use them, but if the rest of your grocery list is cheaper elsewhere, then go elsewhere.
- Heating Bills – Fuel prices are going up. Go online and compare costs by using utility switching services – you will probably find a cheaper deal. Turn your thermostat down just a couple of degrees.
- Petrol – make a mental note to write down the cheapest fuel station prices as you drive buy. Do not just keep going to the same service station you usually do. Filling the tank is expensive and you can save a few pounds each time by shopping around.
- Insurances – There are usually cheaper life insurance, house insurance and motor insurances out there. Get some quotes.
- Credit Cards – if you do have card debt, do not just leave it on the same card. At the end of special offer or interest free balance transfer periods, credit card company interest rates increase to as much as four to five times your mortgage rate. Get your card bills out, consider paying them off from low interest bearing savings accounts now or switch to another nil balance transfer.
- Television – do you really need the all inclusive TV subscription?
- Internet – there are always better deals out there for your data allowance and often include free landline calls.
- Mobile Phone – check out your allowance on your tariff. Did you really use all those inclusive minutes and texts? Could your tariff be changed to a cheaper one?
- Gym Membership – if you have one, do you get value for money? Would a bicycle, walking, running or swimming be cheaper but just as effective?