Oh Dry January, the annual futile attempt to not touch alcohol for an entire month.
It always seems like a great idea; cut down on the booze after the overindulgent Christmas period and save money after buying all those presents. Unfortunately, it very rarely works out that way and, according to research, by January 20, most Dry January-ers have already renounced sobriety.
With that said then, you may well have hit this point in the month and be wondering if there are other ways you can save some cash, while still being able to drink that third gin & tonic of the evening.
Naturally, coming up with a solid New Year’s budget should be your first port of call but for some of other money saving tips, try these on for size…
And we don’t mean order takeaway!
This is probably the easiest one; if you’re spending money on booze again, save money on food and alcohol by cooking, eating and drinking at home.
You can also shop smarter to save on food bills, going for own-brand products rather than the big brands, and by stocking up on food to keep in the freezer rather than ordering pizza, Chinese, Indian, etc every night.
We’re entering the coldest period of the year which is when heating bills typically get super costly, so it’s worth trying to keep expenses down by turning down the thermostat and wrapping up warm instead.
January is also a great time to consider switching energy suppliers. January is traditionally a quiet month and households could save up to £221 if they switch energy suppliers, but millions don’t bother.
Switching banks is quicker and easier than you might think, as well as a way to gain some extra cash immediately.
The likes of HSBC, First Direct, Natwest and the Co-op Bank all offer good deals for switching to accounts with them, with the extra incentive of more than £100 for making the switch.
Keep an eye out for the January sales and try and snatch up some of the gifts which were returned after Christmas at a reduced price.
It’s also worth following big companies on social media (especially Twitter) to be kept up-to-date with their latest deals and giveaways. Amazon, Asos, eBay and Debenhams are some of the retailers who regularly tweet about their latest deals or sales.
Another option is to take advantage of couponing and save for shopping that way. Holly Smith famously paid for a £1,200 shop entirely with coupons back in December 2015, for instance, although repeating that impressive feat may be ambitious.
A lot of us are guilty of hoarding things we don’t really need and on the back of Christmas, you probably also have some unwanted gifts you’d like to get rid of. January is the perfect time to clear out the clutter and stick it on eBay for some extra cash.
Etsy, Vinted, Amazon and Vivastreet are also good options for selling some of your unwanted items online.
There’s also the option of going old school and collecting it all up to sell at a good old fashioned Car Boot Sale but we’re not sure we’d recommend an early start of a Sunday morning in this freezing cold January weather, to be honest.
Statistically, January is the month when the most people sign up to join the gym as people embrace the ‘New Year, New Me’ mantra and attempt to better themselves. Usually by late January, however, the fitness regimen has fallen by the wayside and it’s back to eating pizza on the couch.
Maybe, then, it’s a good idea to cancel that gym membership you’re not using and save the extra cash. If somehow you have kept to your New Year resolution of frequenting the weights room regularly, you could at least sign up for a discounted membership to save cash that way.
This is an easy way to save money; stop buying drinks every day and get a bottle which you can refill from the tap or water dispenser in work.
Also, buy some instant coffee or make use of the free drinks machines in the office. One of the biggest expenditures for people is buying coffees from the likes of Starbucks and Costa on their way to work.