With Christmas just around the corner you may be wondering how you will make your money stretch that little bit further. Whether it is buying presents for loved ones, or just going out a little bit more over the festive season, you are likely to have a few more demands on your finances than usual right now. A lot of people end up in debt over Christmas, but with a little planning, some organisation, and some careful spending you can emerge into the New Year without the burden of debt. Whether you are at work in a full-time job, taking an apprenticeship, or just studying and working part-time. You will want to make your money go further, especially at this time of year. Here’s some advice to help you make that happen…
- Know What You Are Spending
The first piece of advice is to know what you are spending, and that means working out your budget. List all of your outgoings, including things like bills, travel expenses, and even money for lunch and then work out what you have left to play with. You may find a few ways to save some extra money right away – check the cost of things like your mobile phone – could you get a better deal elsewhere? It is not only about knowing what you have, but keeping track of how much you are spending – make sure to update your financial records whenever you spend some money – your bank balance isn’t always as up-to-date as you might think – especially if you pay by card.
If you are the sort of person who eats out a lot or orders take-aways you can save plenty of money by buying ingredients and cooking your own meals at home. Not only do you know what you are eating, but you can also turn it into a social occasion by inviting some friends over too – much cheaper than a night out – especially if you ask them to chip in to cover the cost of the food!
- Look For Bargains
Rather than heading straight to the shops to buy a new top or some shoes (for example), why not take some time to search around for a bargain? Whether that means going to factory outlet shops, looking online, or going to discount retailers, you can save plenty by being smarter about where you spend your money.
- Find Free Things To Do
You don’t have to spend loads of money every time you go out the front door. Look for free things to do, such as going to a museum. Not only will you while away a few hours, but you may also learn something new too!
- Happy Hour!
If you are going to go out look for places that have happy hour specials or offers to help you save money. By changing where you go you may be able to have a good time while saving some money at the same time.
The festive period can be great fun, but be careful not to leave yourself with a financial hang-over for the New Year!