Budgeting this New Year
Too many people fall into the trap of thinking that it’s OK to spend, spend, spend at Christmas. Suffering financially throughout the first few months of the next year in order to pay for that spending is usually the trade-off we’re willing to make.
But aren’t you fed up with this yearly financial turmoil? If the answer is yes, you are not alone. Perhaps now’s the time to exert some control over your spending; if necessary, visit Creditfix for help.
Next time – work to a budget
The average Christmas budget per person in the UK is around £400. If you’re in a joint household it could be as high as £800 (or more if you usually plan to buy gifts for an above average number of family members and friends). However, this figure of ‘£400 per person’ is an average, not a target. If you think that you did overspend this year, bear the average figure in mind for next year. Aim to pin down your spending so that your gift buying falls within these average limits.
Take cash instead of cards this year
When it’s gone, it’s gone! By using cash instead of cards to pay for as many shopping trips as possible this year, you will be able to see when you’re running low on funds. This way, you can slow down, stop, or simply realise where you have overspent and shop a bit smarter going forwards. If you’re not a fan of cash and you prefer online shopping, try using a pre-paid account instead (e.g. PayPal).
Time your spending – hit the sales
Planning the kinds of gifts (or treats for yourself!) that you’d like to purchase this year will give you time to watch out for those items in sales. From gifts for children to something for the in-laws and even weekends away, you’ll get more bang for your buck if you buy when things are on sale.
Avoid emotional spending
Emotions and money should be kept far apart at the best of times. If you’re finding yourself standing in a shop convincing yourself that it’ll be OK, that you’ll do some overtime in January, or you’ll eat marmite on toast until February 12, remember to stop right there and remember to avoid emotional spending.
Most people succumb to impulse purchases in physical stores, because there’s the music and the lights and the sale signs and all that… Remember, you’re being played here! You. Must. Resist.
You might tell yourself that it’s just a fiver here, a fiver there…but when you get home you realise you just spent five fivers here and there…
Going food shopping? Make a list. Stick to it.
It really is that simple. You’ve done your budgeting and your research, so what more do you need to buy?
Buying gifts? Again – Make a list. Stick to it.
Include everyone you have to buy for – nearest and dearest, teaching assistants, binmen and so on. Allot different amounts to each person, with friends and family getting more and then everyone else getting progressively less. This list stays by your side until you’ve crossed everything off.
Disclosure: This is a collaborative post