The New Year is the time to make resolutions and have a fresh start. It is a great time to get your finances in order, although this can be easier said than done with the temptation to spend big at Christmas or in the January sales.

 Financial Blues

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There are ways to beat the January blues financially, however.

Tighten Your Belt

After the excesses of Christmas food, January is a good month to tighten your belt financially. You can save money by quitting smoking, cutting back or abstaining from drinking, cutting back on ready meals or takeaways and cooking healthy but economical meals from scratch.

Cutting Costs in the Shops

If you are going shopping in the sales, don’t buy something just because it is a bargain. Make sure you really want it and will need it. Otherwise it will be a waste of money. You can also save money by looking for food in the supermarkets which has been reduced in price or is on special offer.

Vow to Use Vouchers

Instead of going out and spending money, have a night in and trawl through the money-saving websites, where you can download coupons or get voucher codes for items such as clothes, furniture, food, dining out, travel and days out. Sign up for store cards too, and remember to use them. After a few months of using store and supermarket cards, you may have saved enough to treat yourself.

Think Cash Not Credit

If you can’t pay off your credit card each month, you will find you are paying a lot of interest. Try to just use cash for every item you buy this month. Give yourself a fixed budget for the month within your spending limit – and stick to it.

A Healthy Budget

Look at your income and outgoings to check they balance. Make sure you have sufficient funds to pay all the bills and other necessary expenditure, such as your travel card for work. If you don’t keep a check on your finances, it is easy for them to spiral out of control. If you need a helping hand to pay off existing debts, you could look at Individual Voluntary Arrangements or IVA’s through a specialist insolvency firm such as

After a while, budgeting will become easier, and you may find you have more disposable income.