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Surviving January on a Budget

It's been an expensive few months for me, with moving into the new house, decorating and shopping for Christmas gifts. We're certainly not penniless. But I think a leaner January might be in order once the festive period is over. I know the cost of Christmas and winter, in general, can be tough for a lot of people. There are a lot of extra expenses, from heating costs to presents and going out for Hogmanay. By the time January arrives, you can discover that your bank account is running on empty. If you need some help getting back on your feet, try these solutions*

Plan for a Lean Month
If you're low on cash in January, preparing for a tight month is one of the best things you can do. You've probably spent much of December partying. So you don't need to spend the whole of January going out too. Take it as an opportunity to get started on your resolutions if you're planning to eat more healthily and exercise more. You can spend your time looking for healthy recipes and working out. Don't give in if your friends are pressuring you to go out all the time. Cut down on snacks and expensive fast food or ready meals too, and you'll be able to save on your shopping.

Consider a Loan
Sometimes, you might be really desperate for cash when January come around. It's fine if you can't afford a big night out, but not so much if you can't pay your bills. If you're having a real cash emergency and can't wait until payday, you could think about taking out a loan. Loans from Evolution could help to cover your expenses until you're able to pay for them from your wages. Some other options include using a credit card, borrowing from family or friends, or dipping into your savings. It's always a good idea to have an emergency fund to help you pay for these occasions.

Have a New Year's Clearout
The new year is a great time for new beginnings, so I suggest having a clearout. You can sort all your things into piles to help you decide what to keep and what to get rid of. One of your piles can be for things to sell, which you could put on eBay, take to a car boot sale or even sell to friends. Anything you don't plan to sell could go to charity, or you could recycle it or throw it away. If you have a lot of clothes, you might be able to get some cash for recycling them. However, it's calculated on weight, so you'll need a lot to make any decent money.

Keep an Eye on Your Spending
If you want to make sure you don't overspend, you'll have to keep a close eye on your finances. You might not usually be so vigilant, but if you're strapped for cash, try to be especially careful. Keep your receipts so you can write down what you spent each day. And check your bank statements regularly too.

If you're careful with your money in January, your bank account will look much healthier for the rest of the year. You can recommence the nights out when February arrives!

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