It’s been a year that’s seen the economy dominate the headlines. From the cost-of-living crisis and soaring inflation to rising energy bills, it seems that our finances have been the main focus in 2022.
Now, with the festive period coming up, it’s worth thinking of ways to save to see you through Christmas and beyond. Here, we’ve rounded up some ideas to help you see in 2023 with cost-effective tips in mind.
Set a budget
Successful budgeting can go a long way towards helping you work out how your finances are shaping up and reveals opportunities to save. To create a budget, look at your bank statements for the last six months. Work out your income and then highlight your outgoings, focusing on essentials like utility bills first.
Then you can highlight how much you spend on the weekly food shop and other important monthly spends like your child’s school breakfast club.
From there, you can work out how much you have left over each month. You can then set aside anything that’s left for your savings, and this could go towards Christmas or be used in case of emergency.
Also, are there are areas where you can save? Could you swap to a different supermarket, for example? Take the time to work out if you could save even more.
Getting the kids to school and yourselves to the office can be expensive. Even with hybrid working becoming overwhelmingly popular, you still have to get around somehow and into your workplace at some point.
To help save, look into railcards or bus passes. There are usually discounts available for children. Or if you nee a family motor to get everyone where they need to be, look out for car lease deals and other opportunities to save on your car.
Before you go ahead and buy what you’ve seen in the store, it’s worth checking to see if you can get it for a better price elsewhere. This applies to everything from clothing and food to your TV and Wi-Fi package.
In fact, you might even be able to get more for your money if you let your internet provider now you’ve seen a better deal. Sometimes they’ll throw in extra channels and a better package so that you’ll stay, so it’s worth looking at other options first.
If you have a goal in mind, it can make it easier to manage your money. For instance, if you’re having another baby, you might want to save up to cover your salary while you’re on maternity leave. Or you might want to save up for a family holiday. After all, for many of us, it’s a while since we travelled out of the UK.
By setting targets and saving, it can help you to get into the habit of setting money aside. This is a good financial routine to get into.
Do some research
If you’re struggling, you might be able to access help. Research benefits and funding you could get. If you need some advice about navigating what you could be entitled to, speak to Citizen’s Advice.