And just like that, Christmas is over for another year – the manic shopping, the festive cooking, the present wrapping and of course, the SPENDING, and as we enter into the New Year, many of us fall victim of repeatedly asking ourselves, ‘When is Pay Day?’.
We all know Christmas can be a very stressful and expensive time of the year, but while we are wanting to spoil our family, surprise our friends and smother our loved ones in gifts, the constant spending soon creates that ever-growing dent in our pockets!
But why do we seem to always spend most of the money in December? Why don’t we prepare for this annual blow-out throughout the remaining 11 months of the year? Christmas can lead us to spending well over our means and putting a strain on our bank balance.
Well, it’s time to improve your money mindset and #PayCAREforyourself!
We have collated 3 simple and effective tips which you can implement this year to prepare you for next Christmas, so that in 12 months’ time you don’t have to!
So, what’s the first step?
Save up some of your earnings by setting aside a certain amount of money per month and drop it in that all-important Christmas funds jar!
Take a step back and look at your outgoings for the month, are you missing out on discounted gym-memberships during the annual ‘Get-Fit’ resolution month? Could you be going out for less meals a week or cutting down on takeaways? (Perfect for that all important New Year’s Resolution too!), or could you cut down on the number of weekends you spend at the shopping centre or put a stop to buying that ever-tempting tat at the counter? After all – there’s only so many lip balms or packets of chewing gum we need at one time!
If you set yourself small goals to stop spending where it’s not needed, just think how much you could save! That way, when Christmas comes around, your bank balance won’t be feeling so sorry for itself!
And, we know this can be seen as a bit of a faux pas, but you can always set aside unwanted Christmas gifts for re-gifting next year. We’ll leave that choice with you, just don’t forget who gave the gift to you in the first place… (Awkward!).
What is better than Christmas? Christmas sales!
Money Saving Expert, Martin Lewis, mentioned in his most recent article ‘How to go Christmas cold turkey’ that “Little’uns aren’t snobs, they don’t care how much you’ve spent”, so why we do care so much when it comes to buying the latest gadgets or designer clothing for our children, grandchildren or nieces and nephews?
Young children have no perception of how much things cost, so why not get your hands on their new toys in the January sales!
And it doesn’t stop there. Remember, nearly everything is discounted in January, from Christmas decorations, gift sets, chocolates (remember to check the date!) and much more. So while the shops can sometimes be a little hectic during the sales period, getting your gifts now will alleviate the financial struggle come December – and your pockets will thank you!
Even though we often see New Year as a time for saving, you don’t have to cut back entirely. There’s plenty of ways you can continue to spend quality time with your loved ones by going out and enjoying yourself!
By getting your hands on discount vouchers you can save money on the things you enjoy or, if you fancy, double up on your treats for the same price! Check out your local paper, sign up to e-newsletters from your favourite brands or even ask for a discount at the counter – they can always say no!
And, don’t forget, if you’re a Policyholder, you will also have access to Paycare Perks, full of offers, vouchers and discounts!
Not only this, when we say ‘spend’, it doesn’t only mean spending money, but spending TIME! Spend your time creating personalised vouchers for family, offering them some of your time as opposed to buying gifts.
After all, Christmas is about love, family and happiness first and foremost, so don’t feel you have to put yourself under pressure to splash out on those retail-frenzy shopping trips and instead enjoy the time spent with friends and family!
If you’re a Paycare Policyholder and feel like you’re struggling financially and need support with managing your finances following the Christmas period, or simply want to talk things through with a friendly voice, please do make use of our Confidential Counselling Helpline. Our dedicated Money Management service can support you with manageable budgeting tips and tricks, as well as dedicated Debt Support if you need it – we’re here for you.