A huge number of Brits will be receiving their wage significantly earlier in the run-up to Christmas, so how do we ensure our December wage stretches right through till payday in late January?
Blacktower Financial Management has pulled together some expert tips on how to stretch your finances at one of the most expensive times of the year.
Make a budget for essentials
When you first receive your wage, it is important to make a visual budget for you to refer to. Take the full sum of your wage, then deduct the cost of weekly travel, bills, and food costs to see what you have leftover for the month.
Set a daily allowance with what is leftover
Once you know how much money you have leftover after the essentials are budgeted, set yourself a weekly or daily allowance to help you visualise how your month will look.
Expensive luxury purchases
Before treating yourself to a new gadget or wardrobe, give yourself some time to ponder the purchase. Ask yourself whether the purchase can wait till next month, or if it is urgently needed right now.
Reserve some of your previous wage
Setting aside pockets of money from your previous payday to help you in the following month isn’t a reality for everyone, especially at Christmas time. But if you do have the legroom to do so, it will help take some financial pressure off towards the end of January.
Plan free activities
Embrace the great outdoors by planning cheaper or free activities, like walks in the park, visiting a friend for a hot drink or enjoying window shopping.
Cut out unnecessary costs
If you’re going to be out for the day, whether you’re running errands or going into the office, be sure to pack food and drinks so you avoid spending extra money.
Try car sharing with a buddy to work, walking, or riding your bike.
When making a food shopping list, plan to set meals to avoid food waste. Also, make use of any supermarket loyalty points you may have collected.
Be honest about your finances
Don’t be afraid to tell friends and family that you can’t afford to do something this month.
Financial worry can be a daunting topic to discuss but establishing a good support system can relieve some of the stress.