With Christmas just a few months away more than a few people have looked at their bank balance with gritted teeth – last year’s promises to prepare better for Christmas have been forgotten, and now you have to pick up the pieces.
You could skip the morning coffee – but that’s not going to cut it, you’ll never save enough in time – You need to buy presents and decorations, somehow budget in the Christmas dinner. You’re going to need to do something extreme. Here are a few ways to “crash save” in time for December.
Image courtesy of Andormix – Isaac Torrontera from Flickr http://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/5512000985/
We spend a ridiculous amount of money on our work commutes every week, so if you’re serious about savings, start walking everywhere. If you need to drive to get to work, consider starting a carpool, taking public transport, or even dusting off the bike in the back of the shed. The exercise means you could chuck the gym membership too, and you might even enjoy it.
If you’re feeling brave, take the leap and sell your car outright, giving you a much needed financial boost at Christmas time. People who rarely use their car should consider renting instead, saving registration, insurance, maintenance and repair costs from the financial equation.
Cutting the Cable TV
How much do you really need that extra 600 television channels anyway? Cancelling it for the 3 months until Christmas could give you a much needed boost, and a member of their retention team will usually be in touch to give you some money off your package if you agree to recommit in January.
But why rejoin? There are a ton of other options available, from instant streaming sites Netflix and Lovefilm, through to the cheaper free to air services like Freeview and Youview trade a monthly subscription for a one off purchase. None of these options have an equal selection, but are available at a fraction of the price.
Cash, Not Credit.
Rather than paying for this Christmas on your credit card, do something a bit different and leave the credit card alone. Paying with cash means you don’t leave yourself in horrendous debt after the holiday is over – and makes you think more about your purchases when it’s physical cash rather than “paying with plastic” –which is far more painless, and encourages spending.
Hold A Firesale
With sites like Ebay and Amazon, reselling your unwanted items has never been easier, but still people are accumulating junk they really don’t need. Take a weekend to scour your attic and list all of the hidden gems on Ebay. Next week, pack them up and ship them out. Depending on what you have in your attic this could work out as a great earner.
Watch What You Eat
This last tip can be as extreme as you make it, you could scale back a bit on your lunch, or you could think of your finances, skip your lunch and bring in your own from home. If you can brave it, you can skip breakfast and lunch entirely, settling for a diet of pasta, rice and cous cous.
Be warned however, that sort of crash diet is great for your wallet, but not so good for your health – but if you can stomach it, cutting out some of the luxury from your meals could save you plenty.
Honestly, your savings can be as extreme as you want them to be, go for a cheaper lunch once or twice or try to use all of the tips at once. Hopefully these tips should help you hit 2013 with a healthier bank balance.
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Author | Geoffery is a personal finance blogger specialising in the fixed rate savings market working on behalf of sites like fairinvestment.co.uk – click here to find out more today!