6 tips to survive the January blues

January bluesSanta has been and gone, the presents have all been opened and the in-laws have (finally) gone home. Christmas is over and now we’re faced with what is statistically the most depressing of all twelve months, January. Many of us can get carried away with the magic of Christmas so January often means assessing the damage caused to our bank accounts by the festive season.

Here are some simple tips to help manage your finances after Christmas is over and done with and reality hits.

1. Get organised

Knowing exactly where your money has gone is the essential first step to survive the post-Christmas pinch. Take the time to sit down with your bank statements and calculate the damage of the Christmas period, so you know exactly what you need to make up in the new year, this way you can plan and budget accordingly.

2. New year, new budget

As clichéd as it sounds, the new year is the perfect time to start afresh and make a brand-new budget for your family. The financial excesses of Christmas can be easily fixed with some careful planning of your outgoings over the first few months of the year. Take the time to reassess your essentials like food shopping and household bills, research different internet or phone providers to see if you can make a saving and opt for non name-brand goods at the supermarket, every little helps.

3. Re-think your luxuries

Use the new year to look over what you spend on extras and luxuries outside of your household essentials and ask yourself ‘do I really need this?’ If you have a gym membership and can’t remember the last time you went, a satellite TV subscription that goes to waste or if you buy over-priced lunches at work rather than making them at home, now is the time to get back to basics and make some big savings as you go.

4. Avoid quick-cash loans

For those of us whose finances were hit especially hard by the festive season, taking out an emergency fast-cash loan can seem the perfect short-term solution to January money worries. These are to be avoided at all costs as loans like this have sky-high interest rates and hidden charges. Instead of solving your January blues, you’ll be in even more trouble come February when your repayments are due.

5. Insure your gifts

January blues can be made even worse if you don’t insure your new gifts and electricals. Don’t risk having to fork out expensive repair charges or in the worst case scenario, having to buy a replacement if an accident should happen. Many insurance companies can secure your gadgets for a reasonable price and some have discounts and offers for multiple policies. As ever, always be sure to read the small-print.

6. Don’t buy on credit

A simple tip to avoid the January pinch that may come too late for some is to only spend what you have in the first place. It seems simple enough but with the expectations thrust upon us by the corporate Christmas campaigns and their tempting offers to buy things on credit many of us can fall into these dangerous debt traps that can seriously harm our finances in the long-run. Living within your means, even at Christmas time, is the first step to banishing the January blues.

The information in this article does not constitute legal or financial advice. If you would like to discuss any of the above in greater detail, please contact your local Axis adviser.

Image Credit: Richard Taylor