January E-Bulletin 2018 – Surviving the January blues
Happy new year! Thank you for clicking through to read more from our e-bulletin.
Surviving the January Blues
Talking Money is passionate about seeing it’s community thrive and sometimes that means recognising when times can be hard. January can be one of those hard times. The weather seems to be colder, the excitement of Christmas has come and gone and somehow another year has passed. Researchers say that the combination of debts, credit card bills, failed new years resolutions and post festive let down can naturally make anyone feel low.
There are many factors that can help you in this time including getting outside, exercise and making a record of things that you are thankful for, but we would like to cover the ‘money’ topic. Even when you are wise with money and try to be as frugal as possible during the festive season there is always a spike in social activity, gift giving and often travel. These things are expensive and can give a financial hangover even if you have been careful. You might not be able to undo the spending you did while influenced by the pretty lights, prosecco and Christmas films but you can look forward. If your finances are feeling weak, now is the time to make a choice to become financially strong.
Make a money calendar
This is the perfect time to map out when there are going to be peak times of spending through the year. Ask yourself, when are the important birthdays? When do you plan to go on holiday? When does your car need its MOT and service? It’s also worth considering if there are friends you might be visiting or if there are any events like weddings coming up in the year. These things quickly rack up quite a bill and if you can see them on your calendar you can make a plan of how much money you need to spend/save for each occasion.
Be a squirrel! (Sort your banking)
Leading on from mapping out key events/costs on your calendar, you can be saving for these events by setting up a linked bank account which is purely for these costs. Most banks can talk you through having separate accounts for holidays, bills, monthly spending etc. Or if this sounds too difficult you can pay ‘Squirrel’ a small amount, to ‘squirrel’ away your money for you. If you want to find out more about their services visit: www.squirrel.me.
Don’t be an ostrich
This is an excellent time to make good habits, and sticking your head in the sand is not one of them! We understand that money can be incredibly anxiety inducing and at times opening up bank letters or bills can be overwhelming. The thing is, knowledge is power, so as soon as you know what debts and bills are coming your way, you can make a plan to manage them. If you are struggling to meet payments make sure you try to speak to the provider and see if a more realistic payment plan is an option. There are plenty of self-help tools available on the Money Advice West website, simply click here.
We wish you the very best this year and hope that you will not need us, but if you do we are here to help.