The holiday season can be a hedonistic time: not just for your waistband, but also for your budget.
Yes, all those presents, snacks and Christmas rounds at the pub all add up.
And more often than not, you’ll end up spending more than you meant to, even when you tried to be strict with yourself over 2018.
It’s time for a new financial outlook to make sure your overindulging doesn’t leave your bank account with a hangover.
1. Treat the New Year’s sales wisely
While the January sales can be a terrific time to pick up a bargain or two, many of us don’t actually need all the things that we’re buying.
In many ways, it makes sense.
You probably got most of the things you’ve been pining for at Christmas and now you’re just being tempted into buying things you don’t really want.
Do you really need that fancy butter dish for example?
If the answer’s no, then that doesn’t change even if it’s 75% off.
Now, don’t get us wrong, if there’s a bargain on something you’re going to buy anyway, you may as well get it while it’s cheap.
But otherwise, don’t get sucked in by the sales.
2. Get your house in order
As a Leeds letting agents, we know all too well the importance of making sure that every member of a home is financially contributing fairly.
So, if you’ve not yet gotten all your affairs in order, then now’s the time to do it.
Not only will sorting out all the bills avoid any possible penalties, arguments and stresses, but it’s also the case that when people know an outgoing is their responsibility, they tend to be more sensible about their usage.
And this brings us onto our next point…
3. Turn off the lights
If you’re splitting the bills, then it’s important to make sure that you’re all doing what you can to keep costs as low as is reasonable.
This is simple stuff. If you’re leaving the room, turn off the lights. If it’s not too cold, lower the heating.
You can even have a system in place so that the first person up turns the thermostat to a selected heat for example.
Then once the house has warmed up around mid-day, you can shut it off.
All these measures are so easy to forget and it really does add up over time: especially if you’re not paying that specific bill.
If you have mutual respect for each other in your house share and are willing to make just a small effort, you can keep costs down across the board.
4. Get serious about a food budget
Many people use the new year as an excuse to get into a new fitness regime.
With that in mind, it’s the perfect time to get your food costs in order too.
With takeaways and snacks, it’s so easy to overspend on food.
However, if you cost out your meals each week, you’ll know exactly how much you’re eating and how much it should all come to.
It’s also a good idea to give yourself a little extra money for treats and stick to it.
That way, you won’t need to live like a saint but you’ll also avoid going overboard.
5. Now’s the time to really start saving
The new year is a great opportunity to put some cash aside so that you’ll be financially prepared for any surprise costs in the future.
Or, if you want, to save up for something really special. Either way, putting a little money away is always a good idea.
As a letting agents Leeds based, we know that often students don’t have much spare after their expenses.
However, even a small amount each week can add up throughout the year and leave you with a nice bonus when winter rolls around again.