Frugal Tips to Save in January After All the Christmas Shopping
Christmas is by far one of the greatest times of year when it comes to memories with family and friends, but certainly not when it comes to your wallets. There are millions of families that find themselves in debt during the holiday season as it’s far too easy to get carried away with buying presents for loved ones, spending money on dinners and parties, and more.
Although it can make for a phenomenal Christmas season, when January rolls around you’ll be counting the zeros in your bank account. Instead of drowning in debt for the next year, consider these frugal tips to help you save in January once the holidays are done.
Tip 1: Monitor Your Heating
If there’s one surefire way to help you save money on your household bills it’s the pay special attention to the amount of heating you’re pumping through your home on a regular basis. Heating and cooling can make up the vast majority of your household bills, especially in the winter, and it’s time for you to consider how you use your house in an effort to save money.
For example, if you’re at work from 9 AM until 5 PM, it makes sense to turn your thermostat off during the day while you’re not at home. In most cases, there won’t be anything in your house that needs to stay at 75 degrees throughout the day. When you get home, you can turn your heating back on and stay comfortable throughout the night.
Another great tip for monitoring your heating is to use a smart thermostat. Smart thermostats give you the ability to control your heating and cooling from anywhere as it’s connected directly to your smartphone, tablet, or computer. You’ll have the ability to set customizable heating schedules, turn your heating on or off remotely, and even monitor your average daily usage.
Tip 2. Start Pulling Out Coupons
There are some people who have an aversion to coupons and for no good reason, as coupons are a phenomenal way to save money and they do not make you appear “cheap”. Companies create coupons in an effort to get customers to purchase their products more than the competition because they’ll be less expensive and in all honesty, you should truly take advantage of the savings.
There are plenty of ways that you can find coupons, whether it’s online or through in store catalogs and flyers, and they can help you to save anything from $.50 to $3.00. Although the savings might seem small at first, in the end, you’ll be saving hundreds, if not thousands, of dollars on things you’d normally pay regular price for.
Tip 3. Drive Safely and Obey Speed Limits
This might seem like an obvious tip to help you save money, but you’d be surprised at the sheer amount of people that decide it’s a great idea to speed in the middle of winter. The only problem is that speeding is going to cost you a substantial amount of money, especially when you get a ticket. Not to mention, police are out in troves before, during, and after the holidays helping to make sure that the public use roads as safely as possible.
At the end of the day, when your finances are recuperating from a particularly expensive Christmas, the last thing you’ll want to deal with is not only a speeding ticket, but also higher insurance premiums.
Tip 4: Inspect Credit Card Interest Rates
If there’s one thing a financial advisor will tell you, it’s that you should never carry a large balance on credit cards because their interest rates are far too high to be justifiable. Although this is common knowledge, many people still find themselves spending more and more on their credit cards, only to face higher penalties and charges.
Instead of being in a difficult lending situation like most credit card customers, consider calling your lender and discussing different terms. It’s quite common for people to try to negotiate lower interest rates on their credit cards, especially if you’ve been a client of theirs for numerous years. If there’s one thing lenders love it’s when people spend outside of their means, and the second you threaten to transfer your balance to another bank, the more willing they’ll be to help you.
Tip 5: Start Planning Meals
Aside from avoiding grocery stores when you’re hungry, you also need to start devising a meal plan for the entire family. It’s far too simple to walk into the store and fill your basket with treats and snacks that are completely unnecessary and in many cases, once you start making a shopping list you’ll truly see how much money you’ll save.
Another great tip is to try to leave the kids at home when it comes to groceries, as they are infamous for putting more things in the basket than necessary. Instead, ask them what it is they’d want to eat for their lunches and dinners throughout the week but allow control to be held by the adults.
Another interesting feature of planning your meals is that you’ll have the ability to figure out which stores have certain items for less than others. Even though it might take a little more time when shopping, you’ll be able to save a significant amount of money.
Tip 6: Avoid Boxing Day Shopping
The final, and most important tip to take under advisement is to avoid Boxing Day shopping. Even if you received a little bit of extra money from friends and family this year, save it for something more important like bills or a vacation closer to next winter. Even though it might be tempting to wait in line for hours in an effort to get a new TV for 50% off of clothing that might be discounted by 20%, it’s most likely not worth it.
You’ll have the ability to save your money for a rainy day and feel comfortable knowing that you have a small nest egg to fall back on.
It can be tempting to spend a lot of money during the holidays and revitalizing your finances in January can be a task, but it’s certainly something you can do with ease. With the help of these tips, financial stress will be outdated.