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11.01.2019- Thrifty January: Penny Saving Pointers

There's no doubt that January can be a real struggle- both in terms of the post-Christmas lull which it inevitably brings with it, and also financially. Whether it's bridging the longer-than-usual gap between paydays or attempting to save a little bit of money as part of a drive towards being a little bit thriftier, the start of the year has somehow become synonymous with the tightening of a collective belt. January can also be one of the hardest windows to get through in terms of motivation- making cutting out those little luxuries just that bit harder. With that in mind, I've pulled together a list of things to help pep up the start of the year which don't cost the earth, but which will definitely help in terms of mood boosting:  

- Get out in the fresh air
This is one of the easiest January hacks out there- and doesn't cost a penny. Pulling on your trainers and getting outside is a really great way to beat the start of year blues, even if it's only for half an hour or so a day. Even better, pepping things up with a fresh podcast or audiobook is a brilliant way to occupy your brain- and Audible offer a free trial for your first month. 

- Cook
I'm not talking about a gourmet feast by any stretch of the imagination here, but getting things fired up in the kitchen is another great, and comparatively inexpensive way to spend some time, especially if you've got lots of ingredients to use up after Christmas- for example, your leftover chocolate, Malteasers and marshmallows can all be combined to make Rocky Road. Also, rather than heading out for brunch at the weekend, save some pennies by having a stay at home morning- and, even better, there's no need to get out of your pyjamas!

- Read
I don't know about you, but I've got a shelf full of books which I'm yet to get round to reading, and if you've been lucky enough to get some more as gifts for Christmas, then there's no better time to get through them than now. Also, joining a local library is a brilliant way to read more for less in the long run too. 

- Catch up 
Again, a simple case of capitalising on those services which you're already subscribed too- Netflix and Amazon Prime have a whole host of films and original series to catch up on- and I'm currently concentrating my efforts on the second season of The Crown. Additionally, BBC iPlayer has an amazing selection of box sets to binge- from Pride and Prejudice to Bodyguard and everything in between. 

- Make plans
January always feels like the longest month, but one thing which really helps to pass the time is making plans- even if you're waiting on the funds to put them into action. Whether it's planning a mini-break or booking some time off work in anticipation of the summer holidays, it really helps to have something to look forward to as the month draws on. 

What are your January hacks?

(Image credit: Sarah Farrell, please do not reproduce without permission.)


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