Saving money in January is important to many people for a variety of reasons. After the excess many people spend on presents, travel, food and fun in December, January can be a bit of a hangover month when it comes to finances.
Also, January is the time of year resolutions to increase savings or maybe save for something specific come into play. So there are a number of reasons why you may want to save money this month.
Here are six ways to help you do just that!
1) After-Christmas sales
The trees have all been taken down. The ornaments tucked away in boxes for next year. Even the wreath is gone from the front door. But that does not mean all the Christmas sales are over.
Go now to your local big box retailer for the last of their Christmas merchandise that should be from 70-90 percent off right now.
Look especially for things that don’t look like Christmas items to re-purpose for teacher, hostess, or birthday gifts. Be sure to check expiration dates if you are thinking of saving it for another 12 months.
2) Consignment stores
At the end of the year, consignment and thrift stores usually get a surplus of items in as donations as people try to get last-minute tax write-offs for that year. This means lots of new items in January.
Instead of heading to the mall or your local Target to buy new school shoes for the kids or a warm winter coat for you, check your local consignment stores first. You may be able to save a considerable amount of money.
3) Buy discounted gift cards
Not all gift cards are the perfect gift. Some people are willing to sell them at a discount to get the cash. Check out Gift Card Granny to buy discounted gift cards at 5-30 percent or more off their face value. Then use those cards instead of the cash you would normally use at that store.
4) Use your gift cards
In 2012, Time Magazine estimated that about 2 billion dollars on gift cards went unused. Don’t add your gift cards to that number this year. Try to figure out what you need to buy and see if there’s any way you can buy it from the store you have a gift card for.
Use your gift card instead of the money from your bank account that you would normally spend on whatever you need to buy. And if you are really not going to use your gift card, think about selling it for less than face value on sites like Ebay.com or GiftcardGranny.com.
5) Take advantage of January sales
Historically, January is a good time to buy electronics, furniture, tennis shoes and health-related items. If you have a plan to purchase these items sometime this year, do it in January and get the deals you probably won’t see later in the year.
6) Use coupons
Sure it takes some time, but using coupons can save you hundreds, or even thousands of dollars, this year. Many coupon sites reset their offerings monthly so there may be new coupons that you can print to save you money right away.
Be sure to check out the coupon policy at your local store and make sure you take advantage of any in-store coupons, deals or specials they have on a weekly basis.
If you can employ one or two (or all) of these tips, the savings are bound to add up. Just remember to put the money you save away so you don’t blow it by Valentine’s Day!
Giftcardgranny.com. Web. 8 January 2015. “Giftcard Granny”. http://www.giftcardgranny.com
Fugalliving.about.com. Web. 5 January 2015. “Save money in January”. http://frugalliving.about.com/od/bargainshopping/tp/Save-Money-In-January.htm
Business.time.com. Web. 9 January 2012. “Billions wasted: Do gift cards make sense when so many go unused?” http://business.time.com/2012/01/09/billions-wasted-do-gift-cards-make-sense-when-so-many-go-unused
Reviewed January 8, 2014
by Michele Blacksberg RN
Edited by Jody Smith