After Christmas your wallet might be feeling a little worn out. And with the New Year as well, things might be looking a little scary. But not to worry, now is the time to get ahead and leave that Christmas debt behind.
1. Get Budgeting (Again)
Either you had one before and Christmas threw it out the window or you didn’t have one to begin with. Either way, you can begin budgeting like you’ve had one all along.
Simply take note of all the consistent expenses you have throughout the year. This might be rent, electricity, natural gas, internet, car registration, insurance, regular recreational expenses etc. Then think about how this compares to your income or savings. From there you can work out how much you have either side of those regular expenses which you can put away into savings and then occasionally use it to treat yourself.
If you’re looking to seriously get on the budgeting and savings train we suggest getting a copy of The Barefoot Investor by Scott Pape. It’s a great resource!
2. Live Wisely
Out of all your bills, what seems to be the most expensive and the one you can have a major impact on? That’s right, electricity.
During Christmas, if you didn’t have solar powered Christmas Tree lights it’s highly likely your electricity bill is going to be higher than usual. However you can help counteract this high bill by reducing your electricity consumption now.
To do this:
- Turn off unnecessary lights and appliances
- Wash only a full washing machine and use a clothesline
- Switch to LED light bulbs
- Take the time to fix leaky faucets
- Keep your blinds closed during the day to block out the heat
3. Buy Consciously
One of the traps we get into as consumers is buying things we don’t necessarily need. Whether this is food, clothes or technological related items we do it all the time. This not only impacts the amount of waste we produce, but it also has a great impact on your bank account.
Tips for buying consciously:
- Use what’s in your fridge first. Simply google ‘Recipe for (the ingredients you have)’
- Take a photo of your pantry before you leave so you know what’s there
- Sell your clothes and appliances. They get a new life and you get cash!
- Buy second hand
- Purchase some ‘on the go’ snacks so you never shop hungry
- Take the time to price match
- Find out where your products are made. Buying Australian made, organic etc. isn’t always more expensive