It’s January and we’re all feeling the pinch from big present hauls, massive meals and last-minute impulse buys.
Booking a trip in January can be expensive as everyone has the same idea
But January is the time to be super savvy and get the best deals on your purchases from a holiday in the sun (yes, we need some vitamin D!) to your weekly supermarket shop.
If you follow a few simple rules this month, you’ll definitely feel on top of your finances come February.
We chatted to Katie Walley, head of Asda Money, to get her top tips for being a savvy saver this year:
Be savvy at the supermarket
- Before you even head out to the supermarket, set your budget for the shop and make sure that you have your shopping list ready. It’s important that you stick to it to avoid impulse buying, which leads to overspending.
- Always look for offers in store or if you’re super organised check what offers are available by checking out the Asda website.
- Try mixing up branded goods with own brand versions, which can be a way of making savings in your basket. Try it with your shopping list staples, and over a period of time you might find that your regular shop has changed and you’ve saved some money on the way.
Be creative for celebrations
- Don’t go overboard with gift giving. A thoughtful cheaper gift is better than a thoughtless expensive one and is more likely to be treasured than left in a drawer or on a shelf to collect dust.
- Being a nation that is obsessed with The Great British Bake Off, baking a cake is inexpensive and more heartfelt that an expensive custom-made cake. It is also likely to be yummier which is a bonus.
Try our Special Occasion Chocolate Cake - it's sure to go down a treat for any celebration!
Fitness can be frugal
- Local gyms can sometimes be cheaper than massive chains – it always pays to shop around.
- Some gyms offer an off-peak option so you could pay less than an peak time membership.
- If you are someone who thinks they may not keep up with the gym going commitment, it can be worth considering taking out a rolling contract rather than a monthly contract.
- Don’t forget that gyms aren’t the only form of exercise available. You can always pop on a pair of trainers and go for a run! Or buy a fitness DVD and workout from home – at least then you can crash out on your sofa as soon as you are done!
Don’t jump on the holiday-booking bandwagon
- Booking a trip in January can be expensive as everyone has the same idea and some travel companies take advantage of this.
- Like with any pricey purchase it always helps to shop around for the best deals and the Internet is one of the best tools out there so make sure that you use it. Websites such as skyscanner.net or kayak.co.uk will advise you on how long ahead you should book for travel during each season to various destinations. Kayak will even go as far as telling you what day of the week is cheapest to book your holiday and even the time of day that flights are cheapest. How great is that?
- Don’t forget to sort out your travel insurance as soon as you have booked your holiday – just in case your travel company goes bust or you need to cancel – in most cases you’ll be covered and your cover will pay out.
- Update all your insurance policies to make sure that you are fully covered to avoid having to pay out extra cash – home, pet and breakdown insurance.
Plan ahead for next year
There are lots of ways you can be well prepped for next Christmas. You could try the old-school approach and get yourself a piggy bank, or if you don't feel you can trust yourself to put away those pennies, get yourself an Asda Christmas Savings Card. Pop in loose change when you can, so next December won’t come as so much of a shock to the wallet!
You can also spread out buying over the course of the whole year so December doesn't seem like such a hit. As the sales are on now, what better time to start!
For insurance, travel money, loans and credit cards go to Asda Money