September 17, 2020

Blue Monday January 2019. 9 ways to avoid the festive financial hangover.

Heard of Blue Monday?

It's the Monday in January every year that is believed to be the most depressing day of the year. Often it's said to be the third Monday of the year - so this year in 2019 it would be the 21st of January. However, there are few who believe it's the first Monday so the 7th or some who think it's the 14th. The combination of credit card bills from the festive binge, the cold weather and when those New Year's resolutions start to wear off.

Feeling the festive financial hangover? 9 ways to cap your spending, because we’ve all been there.

You’ve rocked around the Christmas tree, eaten your weight in mince pies, and uncle Gary spilt the sherry over Grandpa George. What’s Christmas without arguments, over-eating and crippling debt? According to the Money Advice Service, the average person spends £500 on food, travel and socialising during Christmas. And a third of people use credit cards and overdrafts to cover it. We all like to start the New Year carefree. But some of us are feeling the festive financial hangover.

Here are 9 ways to sober up, and cap your spending in 2019.

1. Regift unwanted presents

You're bound to receive at least one unsuitable gift. You store it under the bed for safe keeping, where it spends years collecting dust, longing to be used. You could let it wallow there, or you could re-gift it next Christmas or flog it on eBay.

2. Downsize your debts

If you used credit cards and overdrafts to sub your Christmas splurge, now is a good time to make a plan for paying it back. A good trick is to save 30% of your income every month. January is a good time to up your pension contributions or switch to a better interest savings account.  

3. Get rid of unused subscriptions or direct debits

Still paying for that Amazon Prime membership that you forgot about? The average person spends £50 per month on unwanted or unknown direct debits. Pull up your bank statements, anything you’re paying for that you haven’t used in the last three months, chuck it.

4. Have some supermarket self-control

If you're a sucker for supermarket multi-buy offers (which, let's face it, is nearly always chocolate, crisps or some other evil sugary treat), it's time to exercise some self-control. Make a list before you head to the supermarket, do not stray from the list and don't shop on an empty stomach (unless you want a trolley full of stodge and unhealthy snacks). We're more likely to impulse buy when we're hungry.

5. Change your attitude towards saving

The average price of a cup coffee in the UK is £3. One cup every morning adds up to £1,095. Let that brew for a minute.

Track your spending for one week. Track everything you buy, down to the nitty-gritty. Identify where small savings can be made. Small savings turn into significant savings in the long run.

6. Try ‘no spend Tuesday’

Or Wednesday, Thursday, Friday. You get the idea: choose one day of the week and don’t spend anything on that day. Make your lunch, run or cycle to work and leave your bank card at home. Office workers spend approximately £5 on lunch every day. £25 a week, £100 a month, £1200 a year.

7. Get haggling

Haggling isn’t just for cheesy car salesmen or the BBC’s Bargain Hunt. There’s no limit to what you can haggle on: pet insurance, home broadband (especially that), a new TV, your energy bills…

Consumer watchdog Which? surveyed 2,000 people. 58% said they had managed to negotiate a discount by haggling and the average total saving was £725 per person, per year.

Check out this guide to haggling by Which? – It’s a goodie.

8. Be savvy about your energy usage

You know this stuff: don’t leave your TV on standby, don’t overfill the kettle, take short showers… It's the coldest time of the year; it's time to get serious about lowering those heating bills.

  • Slap on the layers, wear a wooly hat to complete the look  
  • Lower the thermostat when you’re away or in bed
  • Move furniture away from the radiators
  • Buy thermal curtains, blankets and rugs
  • Let the sunlight in during the daytime

9. Switch energy providers or overpay forever

The biggest way to save on energy is to switch suppliers. We go on about this a lot. But it’s true. Switching energy providers can save you thousands.

Energy providers make it difficult for you to switch. Don’t be fooled into thinking you’re being rewarded for your loyalty. Households in the UK are overpaying on their energy bills to the tune of £4 billion each year. Blimey!

10. About Flipper

We’re the UK’s first automatic-energy switching service. Doesn’t sound sexy, but it can save you £££’s on your energy bills. (Average of £385) What would you spend £385 on?

Automatic energy switching finds you the best deal regularly; you don’t have to lift a finger. We charge you £30 per year to flip (our term for switching) you to the best energy deal, always. And if we can’t find you a better deal, we won’t charge you.

Less worry, more money for the savings pot.

Start Flipping

Join Flipper and never overpay for energy again. We guarantee to save you money or you won't pay a penny.

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