The first couple of months of a new year can be a real drag. The festive season is over, the decorations packed away and after a month of parties and present-buying and a longer-than-usual gap between pay days, we can find ourselves going into the first month of the New Year with even less money than usual.
But does it have to be this way? Could January actually be a month where we manage to make or save some extra cash?
To put this to the test, last month we teamed up with money-saving (and making!) extraordinaire, Emma Drew, to challenge three bloggers, Kumbear XO, Dolly Dowsie and Hi Baby Blog, to shave £100 off their outgoings in January.
So, how did they do? You might be pleasantly surprised to hear that all the bloggers hit the £100 target, with the amounts made ranging from £100 to a massive £240!
But how did they do it? If you want to try the challenge for yourself, Emma Drew has ten tips on how to make and save £100 in one month. Watch the video, or find the full tips below.
Emma’s top five money saving tips:
This is my absolute number one top tip when it comes to saving money and you will see the results immediately. Meal planning doesn’t have to be boring and rigid – simply start by taking an inventory of what you have in your kitchen and use it to form your meals for the next week. Once you have your list of meals you can make a shopping list based on exactly what you want. This helps you to spend less at the supermarket and to reduce your food waste.
Switch your phone to SIM only
Did you know that you can easily save money on your phone bill by purchasing a handset outright and getting a SIM only deal? Envirofone have a great selection of handsets to choose from – see some of them here.
Do you ever shop around for a deal on your utilities? Switching utilities is something that we should all get into the habit of doing on a regular basis because the savings can be massive, often into the hundreds. Use price comparison websites like Uswitch or Moneysupermarket to see how much you can save.
Assess your regular payments
When was the last time you looked closely at your bank statement? You might find forgotten Direct Debits, or come face-to-face with your multiple video subscriptions. By assessing your regular payments and cancelling the ones you don’t use, you can save lots of money.
Get free food with your phone
These days you don’t have to cut coupons to save money on your groceries. Use apps like Shopmium and Checkout Smart to get Cashback on certain food items – and you can often get them for free! Simply make your purchase and upload a photo of your receipt to receive your Cashback.
Emma’s top five money-making tips:
If you love shopping then you’ll love getting paid to do it. Mystery shopping is where you are recruited to visit a store or restaurant undercover and review particular aspects of their service, including staff interactions or cleanliness. You’ll often be reimbursed for your purchase and offered a fee for going. Two mystery shopping tasks per month should earn you around £240 a year. I recommend Market Force and Red Wigwam.
Decluttering your unwanted items not only helps you to feel calm (and there’s less to clean!) but you can also make money in the process. You can sell your unwanted items on eBay, Facebook Marketplace or use apps like Depop and Mercari. You can also sell your old mobile phone handset or tablet to Envirofone. Find out how much you might be able to make here.
Online surveys won’t make you rich but they will pay for the occasional treat. Simply answer some questions on a variety of topics and you will be rewarded for sharing your opinions. You can also complete them on your commute or in front of the TV. You can expect to make at least £20 a month. I recommend Prolific Academic, One Poll & Mint Vine.
There are plenty of smartphone apps that allow you to earn extra money. Apps like Receipt Hog and Shoppix will pay you for snapping photos of your receipts, and Be My Eye will pay you for completing location-based tasks, such as seeing if a store near you has an item in stock.
Free daily draws
Did you know that you can win money for free just by checking a free daily draw website daily? These websites are funded by adverts, and in order to keep you coming back every day they offer a cash prize pot. I recommend Badger the Button and Free Postcode Lottery.
Are you going to try any of the tips above this month? Or perhaps you have some money-making tips of your own? Let us know in the comments below!