There’s no denying that Christmas is an amazing time of year, but it definitely doesn’t leave a lot of spare $$$$ around to see you through January – which is where these easy, small but effective ways to save some money in 2019 and claw back some cash for the new year come in.
1. Cancel unused memberships
January might stereotypically be a time for joining the gym, but use the new year as an excuse to look over your existing memberships and see what you could probably do without, too. Subscription boxes, lessons you’ve booked in bulk or delivery services you don’t use anymore – even if it means paying more expensive non-members prices when you do want to use them, it’ll probably still be less than a membership fee.
2. Be sale savvy
This feature may be about saving, but have a think about the necessities you actually need in life and see if you can nab them on the cheap during the January sales. Yes we’re talking about a new toaster, and no, not those Topshop boots you spotted last weekend..
3. Stop using contact-less cards
Seriously, we would all consider the purchases we’re making SO. MUCH. MORE. if they were made with physical cash rather than a contact-less card. Try to take money out at the beginning of the week and be mindful of what you’re spending, rather than just tapping your card at the checkout and being oblivious to the earnings going out of your account.
4. Eat breakfast, and take lunch
It’s so easy to get into the habit of buying food on the go, especially when you’re hungry – which is why eating a big breakfast that keeps you full until lunchtime and pre-preparing your second meal is so important. Plus, you’re likely to have healthier lunches if you take away any tempting options.
5. Take unwanted things back
Once Christmas is over, so too is the awkward ‘pretending you like a gift’ thing – and whether it’s a pair of socks, book you already own or coat that’s two sizes too small: TAKE IT BACK. We’re all guilty of saying we’ll “do it tomorrow” and eventually being so lazy we miss the returns period, but you’ll seriously regret not having that money when you’re left with items you didn’t want in the first place.
6. Or sell them online if you’ve left it too late
Which is why you should try and sell any unwanted stuff online through Depop, eBay, Etsy or similar. Yes it’s a lot of effort and yes it will end up consuming all your free time, but not only will it equate to a bit of extra cash in your account, but loads more free space in your home too.
7. Look over your shopping habits
You might be a dedicated ASOS shopper or addicted to Marks and Spencer’s profiteroles, but it’s worth reviewing your shopping habits and seeing if you could get the same stuff, somewhere else. Whether that’s food, clothes or general shopping, have a look at what you spend and where, and see if there’s easy saving to be done.
8. Consider your contracts
(This one is almost definitely as boring as it sounds.)
Make back money you probably haven’t thought about for months by looking at your phone, gas, electricity and wifi contracts and seeing where you could get a cheaper deal. If you’re paying for 4gb of data but only use 3gb, switch, and so on and so forth until you suddenly have far more money in your bank account and less unused resources on your statements.
9. Do Dry January
You might whine about how January is depressing enough as it is, but say you spend an average of $30 a weekend on a boozy night out, cutting out the G&Ts for just 30 days (or the weekends..) would save you around $120. And who wants to go out when it’s cold and dark, anyway?
10. Regift things
There shouldn’t be such a taboo about regifting things, providing the person you give the item to will actually like it – and the person you originally received it from will never find out. The same can be said for gifting things from charity shops, raffle sales or discount stores: if the receiver will like it just as much as if it were new, what’s the problem?
11. Delete your credit card details from online shopping
Fresh year, fresh start. By doing this and manually having to type your details in every single time you want to buy something online, you will consider whether you actually need to buy it – or whether you’re just doing it because it’s super easy and you’re impulse buying. Get into the habit of leaving things in your basket to considering whether or not you actually need them.
12. Be frugal
If you really want to claw back some money and make some savings in your life, it’s worth just asking yourself again and again if you’re just buying something for the sake of it. Will it change your life? Do you need it to make you happy? Would you rather have $20 in your pocket or another bottle of Prosecco? OK OK, so maybe sometimes it’s the latter, but make the decision to skip the fizz once in a while and your pockets might feel heavier.