Did you know that the average cost of Christmas for a family is £753? If your new year’s resolution is to take stock of your finances then we’ve got some excellent tips to get you started.
- Review all of your fixed outgoings each month. Did you get a pay rise, or a bonus? This could help pay towards paying off any credit cards bills that may have built up during December.Make any debts your priority and plan out how you can pay these off. If you have quarterly bills, you might want to think about making monthly payments instead.
- Look at the cost of your utility bills as you might be able to save money quite easily on your gas and electric, telephone and broadband. Visit comparison websites to see what deals are out there. If you have a TV package, is there a rival brand that is cheaper?
- When is your mobile phone due for an upgrade? Could you negotiate a better package? Maybe look at what you use your phone for and change tariff to get a better deal. Would you be better off on a pay-as-you-go contract?
- Food shopping is a huge outlay for most families after paying rent and mortgage. Have a look at other supermarket chains or brands to see if it makes a difference to your weekly bill. You probably won’t even notice a difference in standard or taste. There are some great cost-effective recipes out there where you can batch cook and freeze, saving not only money but precious time, whilst still having a healthy meal. Visit the BBC Good Food website for some great healthy budget family meals.
- Filling your car up with fuel is also another expense. Are there any journeys where you can walk instead of driving, or use local transport? Maybe you could look at car sharing with work colleagues, which would save you all money.
- Use selling websites, such as Gumtree or Ebay, to sell any unwanted items or presents for a little extra income. Have a clear out of your attic or shed and sell items at a local boot fair.
- If Christmas was a real struggle for you financially this year, then think about setting up a separate account to try to save a small amount each month for next Christmas. Even £5/£10 will add up and give you a head start next Christmas.
- If you have come into the new year with debts that you feel you are unable to manage, please seek advice by visiting moneyadviceservice.co.uk or call them free on 0800 138 7777.
We wish you a happy new year and a great 2018.
From the Golding Places team.