So, Christmas was a blast, the drinks were flowing* and celebrations were buzzing on New Year’s Eve, and now we’re into 2022! Wahoo. But January can be – let’s face it, a bit of a slog, with dark days, icey weather and most of all, a loooong month in between an early December payday and January payday… not to mention you splashed out on gifts, food and drinks over the festive period. So how can you make your pennies go further this January? We’ve put together some ideas for you…
1. Make your own lunches and ditch the takeaways (sob sob)
So, you were considering a detox anyway after a jolly festive period of mince pies, roast potatoes and wine*, why not save some money while you’re at it by preparing your own lunches, and saving £3+ a day on your meal deal! There are plenty of tasty lunch box recipes to choose from, such as the ones here: Lunchbox recipes. While you’re preparing your own lunches for work it’s also a good time to cut down on your takeaways to save the pounds (and the lbs). If you are going to treat yourself to a takeaway, try to support independent local businesses that need the income, and these can also work out cheaper too! Finally, make sure you’re bulk buying and preparing food to save extra cash.
2. Take stock of your spending and build a budget plan
Have your eye on an exotic holiday later in the year, but not quite sure the purse strings are going to stretch that far? Why not take this down time in January to start putting together a budget plan of your monthly income and outgoings. This means you can budget for the necessities, cut out any unnecessary spending, and even put some money aside each month to treat yourself and your family to a break or something nice later in the year!
3. Share your subscriptions
Okay, so maybe during the cold and dark of January isn’t the time to get rid of your beloved Netflix subscription. It may be the time to cuddle up on the sofa with a blanket and watch your favourite films or series, but if you and a family member, partner or best mate are both paying for subscriptions with the same company, it might be worth checking out a family/multi-user plan. This can mean a bit of extra admin in cancelling and re-taking out subscriptions together, but it can mean you’re paying for half a subscription each month instead of for your own full subscription! Worth it to save a few pounds.
4. Sign up for loyalty cards
Again, it can take a bit of admin to set up, and time to accumulate points on a loyalty card at your favourite supermarket, but loyalty point schemes can mean you get an extra £5-10 a month (depending on your spending amount) to spend on food for you and your family. There are also vouchers for members – depending on what store you shop at, so this is definitely worth checking out!
5. Get selling things you don’t want or need anymore!
Want a bit of extra cash for the long month of Jan? Why not collect up items of clothing, electrical goods or old kids toys you don’t want or need anymore and get selling on online auctions and markets such as eBay or Facebook marketplace.
6. Reduce your energy costs
Instead of cranking up the heating to stay cosy in Jan, grab an extra jumper, blanket, hot water bottle, (or your pet) to keep you warm, don’t forget to switch off lights you aren’t using as well.
7. Take a flask of coffee to work instead of your daily coffee shop fix
With stats showing the Starbucks lovers spending approx. £660 a year on their favourite brew, why not spend Jan making your own hot drinks in a flask to take into work or on a long drive? This will save you unnecessary spending and you can treat yourself to your well-deserved skinny caramel latte in Feb.
8. Make the most of free activities and free trials
We all love a night out with the gang, but switching a pub night* for everyone coming to yours could save you up to £50 a night! If you’re trying to decide what to do at the weekend with the kids there are a variety of fun free activities to do, from museums to parks, libraries to art galleries, there are lots of cool free things to do to keep the family entertained.
Now might also be the time to really make the most of your monthly free trials! Whether it’s a box-set streaming service free for 28 days, free music, 2-4-1 cinema, free or reduced trials of cooking boxes, or using Clubcard points on a family day out… who said coupons weren’t cool.
9. Leave your credit or debit card at home
Leaving your credit or debit card in the draw at home means you’re more likely to think carefully about your purchases and skip buying things you don’t need. If you don’t want to use cash (or can’t due to Co-vid) try transferring an allowance on to a budgeting card such as your Monzo, so you’re only spending what you want to or can.
If you’re car sharing to cut costs or taking the family on a free day out to walk around a national park, Jaunt can quote you for as little as £0.35 an hour** on temporary car insurance!
*Please don’t drive after drinking
**On average 16% of customers aged between 40-64 paid £0.35 per hour for a Jaunt Car Policy (From July 1st – November 30th 2021).