Jeepers it’s January! How did we get here so fast! Every January I promise myself that this year is going to be better, that I will get more organised, save more money and generally speaking be in better shape with my finances.
So, this year, I’ve decided to share with you my top ideas on how to be better off financially by being frugal and what better time to start than in January!
1. Review your finances
January is the perfect time of the year to start new habits, so if you are not used to checking your finances, now is the time to do it! Start looking through your bank statements or online logs of how you spend money and look for anything that you need to look it to later.
For example I’ve cancelled my magazine subscriptions, after I realised that I really don’t have the time to read all of them. I knew it already, since my magazines started to pile up on the flor unopened, but it wasn’t until I look through my statements, that I realised that I could no longer justify the cost of keeping them.
You should also review all the standing orders, direct debits and home and car insurances.
2. Start saving money
Keeping part of your income separate from the ‘spending pot’ is just a good practise, but saving money should also have some reason or a purpose. Most people find it easier to save money if they know what they are saving the money for.
I’m sure that as the New Year approaches you have made a New Years Resolution list (even if it is just in your head!) and I’m sure that on that list must be something that perhaps cost a bit of money – deposit for a first house, travel, new car? Whatever it is, use is as an ‘excuse’ to start saving money.
3. Organise your house
It is true that if you have a disorganised desk, it’s difficult to concentrate on your work and the same goes for your house or a flat. If your house is disorganised and it takes you ages to find or do something, it can be pretty frustrating. By organising your home, clearing out stuff that you don’t need and moving things to their right places, you will become much more efficient and happier at the same time!
4. Go for a walk
Walks in the countryside are great for loosing some of those inches after all that lovely Christmas food without signing up to an expensive gym membership. Another frugal reason for taking a winter walk is to learn something new, like identifying a wild food that can be harvested in January.
5. Make homemade gifts
I bet you are strapped for cash after paying for all those extra expenses over the festive season, so why not try to make your own presents this year instead of buying them. These days, most adults have pretty much everything they want or need, so presents are more about being thoughtful, than about being material. I can’t imagine anyone who wouldn’t like a freshly baked homebaked bread, fragrant lip balm with natural colouring or beautiful scented candle.
6. Have a no spend month
To really kick start the New Year, why not try to have a no spend January? As the title suggests, you embark on a 30 days of not spending (unnecessary) money. You’ll only stick to essential purchases, like food or travel to work and of course keeping up with all your regular payments for gas, electricity or other household expenditures. You can set your own rules, but it usually means not spending money on clothes, entertainment, eating out, alcohol, cigarettes, shoes etc.
7. Cook at home
Cooking at home is a great way to save money, especially if you plan ahead and you buy your food in bulk. You can start with a few simple recipes, like a taco soup or beef stew pot and then get more adventurous as you go.
Stay in touch
Hope this post inspires you and of course, I’d love to know what you think! Let me know in the comments below or find me on Instagram, Facebook or Twitter and add the hashtag #practicalfrugality so that I can see your post.
Or why not subscribe to my weekly newsletter with frugal living tips and recipes straight to your mailbox.