As the fireworks and celebrations of New Year’s pass, it’s time for many people to start thinking about finances for 2013. Times are still tough economically and after the big expense of Christmas, the year’s early months need to be conducted on a tight budget. So for any households that have put money on the top of their list of resolutions, here are some easy tips and changes for making your money go further in 2013.
1. Draw up a budget
Drawing up a budget and charting your income versus your expenses is the first step to getting a handle on your money. If you’ve already got a budget then it’s important to review it regularly.
There’s no better time than the New Year to review your expenses and implement any changes. Be sure to include the day your regular direct debit bills go out of your account, so you’re sure to have a rough idea of your budget at any phase of the month. If you do happen to run out of funds, don’t panic because there are some excellent payday loans available from sites such as kwikcash.co.uk to tide you over during an emergency.
2. Overhaul of your standard bills
Gas, phone, electricity and water; are you getting the best rate or could someone offer you a more competitive rate for swapping? Many companies will not only offer to match or beat your current rate, they’ll offer you a bonus as incentive to make the change so it’s worth giving all your bills a thorough overhaul.
3. Start the Christmas shopping now
Did the 2012 festive season hit your wallet harder than anticipated? Then why not start purchasing the 2013 haul of gifts and presents now? January sales are the best time to secure a deal so keep an eye out for potential gifts not to mention some hugely discounted non-perishable food.
4. Upgrade your gadgets now
When people get new phones, computers, televisions or PlayStations for Christmas they put their old ones up for sale. Jump online now to find good quality used products at a discounted rate.
5. Cut out the budget busting items
If you consistently blow your budget on a particular guilty pleasure then the New Year is the perfect time to shake the habit. Whether it’s smoking, expensive coffee or alcohol, cutting back or better yet cutting out the offending item is a great way to save some money and improve your health in the process.
6. Budget-friendly recipes
There are countless cookbooks that are targeted at creating healthy, delicious food on a budget. Plan your next weekly shop around utilising one of these recipes a day and compare the cost to your usual expense. You should notice a considerable change, which will really add up as the months go by.
7. Think about some other money making opportunities
From baking and selling cakes to football refereeing on weekends, there are plenty of easy ways to make a bit of extra money. Now that the personal tax threshold has been raised to £9,440 you can afford to make some more cash and still keep your tax bill down.