The Christmas season made everyone excited about spending time with friends and family. Christmas inevitably becomes a time when you also need to spend it with your finances and making sure that you are on top of how you are spending cash. We have made for you post-Christmas survival guide so you can figure out how to manage money and cash in the post-Christmas period.
Money: Understand how to make money work for you post-Christmas
In 2014, Boxing Day sales hit a whopping £3BN, according to The Mirror’s website. The Telegraph reports that 8 million Brits have slipped away from Christmas Day celebrations to research online what deals they can get for consumer products. These two examples show us that British consumers want more value for the money they spend. This could be due to the recession but it can also be due to the fact that wages are not increasing as quickly as could be expected. If 8 million people are surfing online on Christmas Day for deals, this shows that more Brits were looking for deals to save as much cash as possible. It’s no longer about spending money at Christmas time but it is also about finding the best deals for gifts.
More Brits are looking for gifts to buy after Christmas as well but before the New Year. The numbers prove that more Brits are in search for post-Christmas gifts. The Mirror reports that this Christmas Day saw £636M spent on just that day from online sales. What does this mean for you? If you want to join in on the post-Christmas shopping that many Brits are doing, you need to decide on how you are budgeting your money. Here are some top tips to follow for post-Christmas shopping:
- Buy things you need, not things you want: You are going to be bombarded with offers across the board from your favourite high street shops to your local stores. You need to clearly see what you need to have in your household as opposed to what is shiny and glossy. For example, if you have already purchased furniture early in the year, you probably don’t need another table even if you are a fan of interior design.
- Write down what you are going to buy: Post-Christmas shopping time is when you really need to know what you are going to buy. Arm yourself with pen and paper to make this happen and write down the pros and cons of buying each product that you are planning to buy. This will decrease the chance of impulse shopping.
- Get up early to avoid the rush: Post-Christmas sales period requires you to be physically fit to deal with all of the other shoppers who will be in the shops with you. Everyone is jostling for the best deals on offer especially for gadgets and home goods. Get in early and leave early to avoid the rush of people who will also be shopping.
- Shop with cash: Shopping with cash holds you accountable to how you spend money. Studies have shown that when we have cash at hand it is harder to part with the money. This should help you keep your spending in check when you are looking for affordable deals. We like the idea of only carrying a set cash budget and leaving your cards at home so you are not tempted to go to the next cash point to take more money out.
- Use vouchers: Now is the time to read the newspaper carefully and search online for voucher codes. Voucher codes help your finances in the post-Christmas period because they help you find deals easier.
Cash: How to manage your cash outflow after Christmas
During this time, it is critical to know what you are spending. Christmas’ glow is still shining and the sales are in full swing. There are going to be temptations everywhere for you to spend money especially in this time. This is why you should make a daily expenses spreadsheet. This spreadsheet should include:
- How much you are spending on each item: It can be easy to just write that you spend a £100 shopping on Friday. It is better to itemise how that £100 was spent. This way you are held accountable for everything that you are buying. Each row should be allotted for each separate expense. If you have a lot of expenses but you don’t have money coming in, you need to cut back on your post-Christmas spending.
- Notes: This section should highlight any comments you want to make about your purchase. This is an important part to fill in because you might go shopping and buy Starbucks coffee but not realise that you bought the Starbucks coffee when you were doing post-Christmas shopping.
It takes discipline to manage daily expenses. If you are trying to improve your finances in the post-Christmas period, you should have a daily expenses spreadsheet that you fill out. One thing you need to be aware of about cash during this period is how much cash you plan to use during New Year’s. Most people know how expensive New Year’s celebrations can be because whether you go to clubs or bars, there will be charges to enter and drinks are more expensive. If you want to save cash, decide to have a quiet New Year’s with shopping in the post-Xmas season, or you can have a splashy New Year’s celebration with quiet shopping. Make yourself choose so that you can enter January in good shape when it comes to your finances.
The glamour and fun of shopping during December can sometimes make people forget about paying important utilities because they are busy thinking about what they want to buy. If you received cash as a present for example for Christmas, consider using that to pay ahead for January bills so that you can breathe easy when the month ahead rolls around.
Post-Christmas personal finance management requires just as much thought as pre-Christmas finance preparation. You want to enter the New Year in good financial shape and we think smart finance ideas will get you there.
What post-Christmas personal finance tips do you follow?