5 financial tips to beat the January Blues

Billboard

When the Christmas tree comes down, the fairy lights get packed up back in the attic and the kids start heading back to school - you know it’s that time of year again...

Just as the New Year hangover subsides, you’re hit with the sudden realisation that it’s all over.

Every year, the third Monday of January is defined as ‘Blue Monday’, said to be the most depressing day of the year. We’ve put together some useful tips to help you combat the January blues and get in a better financial position for the rest of the year.

 

1. Set your financial goals

When starting to consider your finances it’s important to figure out what you want to achieve and map out your goals for the year. Earlier this month we revealed our top 5 financial goals to set for the New Year, which may be a good place to start.

We know post-Christmas and New Year can be an unusual time, the Christmas buzz has gone, it’s cold and dark, and you’d much rather watch TV than face up to your finances. But by easing yourself into it, you can make sure you’re in the right frame of mind for the year ahead.

It’s also a good way to begin nursing your finances back to health. Whether that’s paying off some debt or creating a spending plan to get you back on track – you could start feeling much more optimistic about this year.

2. Shop smarter

Being a smarter shopper can help you to utilise your budget and make decisions that could help you to meet your financial goals.

This month doesn’t have to be all doom and gloom. One of the best things about January is the January sales.

By being a savvy shopper, you could shop on a cheaper budget. The January deals tend to span from retail and food to even holidays so you can look for a deal that works best for you.

By getting your finances in order at the start, you’ll be able to calculate how much budget you might have available to put towards your shopping, so you can stay on plan with your goals for the year.

Shopping smart isn’t just about utilising the sales. This could apply to your general daily needs. For example, if you need to save more this month - you might want to rethink your weekly grocery shop, cutting down on those items that you don’t necessarily need.

3. Have a clear out

If the festive period has been particularly kind to you this year, you might find that you’re now in possession of a collection of belongings that you no longer need. Maybe you now have a drawer full of socks or a cupboard overflowing with clothes – some of which you haven’t worn in over a year.

Feeling like you have too much and no place to put it can add to your January Blues - decluttering your home is a productive way to get your house in order.

You could take the items to charity or you can even benefit financially and sell your old and unwanted items online.

This could give you a clear, organised house and even a little boost for the month to help you get closer to your financial goals.

4. Detox

The start of a new year tends to bring with it New Year resolutions of getting healthier.

With initiatives like Dry January, Veganuary and specials on gym memberships, now is probably a good time to fully embrace the opportunities that come with living a healthier lifestyle.

Christmas is a hectic period for many and after all of those mince pies and mulled wine, a detox could be just what you need to have a positive impact on your health but also help to save you some money - giving you headspace to focus on the important things you have planned for the year ahead.

Keeping fit can be a cheaper way to keep yourself occupied. By going on a walk, run or even a bike ride, you can clear your head doing an activity that doesn’t cost a lot and keeps your fitness up.

A healthy body (and bank balance) can be key to a healthy mind.

5. Start planning an exciting project

Another way to get you through this time of year, is to plan an exciting project over the next few months. By setting yourself an objective, it can help you to stay focused and keep in line with budget so that you can achieve it.

Why not use this time to plan an exciting project? Like a home improvement for example.

Sure, you might not be able to have it now - but there’s nothing stopping you from looking for design inspiration, weighing up the cost of a new bathroom or new kitchen and budgeting for the future.

Perhaps you might be getting married later in the year or next year? Planning a wedding is one of the most exciting things you could do - and if it makes January a little more bearable, then you might as well get ahead of the game.

To achieve your next exciting project, you may need to save a little more over the next few months or you might need to consider a form of credit such as a personal loan to help you meet your goal. Make sure you understand your finances and take the time to research the options available to you to find one that is the best fit for you.

We all need something to look forward to, and January is the perfect time to map out those life-changing moments.

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