Take advantage of the January cost to plan the rest of the year

 

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By now the reader will have passed the equator of one of the most financially difficult months. January is synonymous with hangovers. Just as you start running or swear that you will stop smoking, this is a good time to consider new economic challenges. The classic among the classics is still saving, but the recovery after the excesses does not come alone.

The citizens who will reduce their consumption the most are residents in Castilla y León and Navarra, by 8.1% and 6.9%. Spanish families have spent an average of 682 euros this Christmas, the highest figure in seven years , as a study by Deloitte progressed in December.

The key to rebalancing our coffers? Anticipate and plan. Start the year without debt is relevant, experts say, since what we do in January will depend, to a large extent, the health of our finances for the rest of 2017.

 

Now, if in 2016 the slope of January was more bearable than other years, it seems that the belt will not drown us at all. When the first month of 2017 ends, Spaniards will have cut our average monthly budget by 5%. This is clear from the X-ray of consumption in Spain 2016 , conducted by Fintonic (an application that helps us control the accounts) with a sample of more than 100,000 people aged between 18 and 50 years.

According to this survey, the Spaniards who will reduce their consumption the most are residents in Castilla y León and Navarra, by 8.1% and 6.9%, respectively. Those who will least notice the adjustment will be Extremadura and the Balearic Islands, which only have to reduce their expenses by 0.8% and 1.3%.

To anticipate

Anticipate the disbursements. An interesting exercise in January not to be overwhelmed with the payments that come to us over the course of the year is to foresee the biggest ones (trips, weddings, insurance, tuition …). Knowing in which month we will have the most important disbursements gives us clues about how we should organize the whole exercise, think long term to be able to plan the budgets of the year.

Prioritize

Procrastination in expenses. At least for the duration of January, try to postpone expenses that are not entirely urgent. Putting black on white outstanding and unavoidable payments helps to decide what (really) we have to buy in the first month of the year and what to expect. Prioritize

Pay better in cash

Plastic money, at bay. Pulling a card is dangerous when we go through periods of cost containment because it leads to lack of control. From the consumer association Adicae, which this month has developed a list of practical tips to save on the January slope, remember that with cards it is usually more difficult to become aware of the money we have spent.

If they have no choice, they say that “it is always preferable to use debit cards -whose expense is immediately reflected in the bank account- and standard credit cards, that is, monthly payment or due month , in which Expenses are settled 30 or 40 days after having made the purchases.Using this way the credit card is possible to face an unforeseen expense and dispose of the money during the term marked by the financial institution until collection, without interest “.

Responsible consumption

Beware of rebates. It’s easy to get foggy when prices are on the floor and if you neglect you can end up buying things that you do not need just because they are so cheap. Appeal to your inner austerity. Go to the sales with a clear list of what (really) you need, be disciplined and practice responsible consumption. The 2017 sales campaign will last two months, until the first days of March (or until stocks run out), with which you can wait to recover and postpone purchases.

From the Spanish Confederation of Commerce (CEC) foresee a growth of spending per person in the winter sales of 3% compared to 2015 . “Our partnerships expect an average cost between 60 and 90 euros per person , ” says a 20minutes a spokesman for the CEC.

Stability

Maintain the weekly expense. It is important to maintain the same expenses every week, at least until the new payroll arrives and we are more comfortable. If in a week we make a big extra payment and the budget gets out of control, this can disrupt the month, which would lead us to start the year with debts.

Avoid credits

Better without getting into debt. It is a very appetizing option when we are on the verge of red numbers (which also lead the bank to apply penalties), but interests do us a disservice. It is preferable to ask for a payroll advance at work or to talk with family or a trusted friend who can lend us money. In case there is no alternative but to go to traditional financial institutions, which are also making consumer credit more expensive, Adicae recommends “comparing offers, analyzing them beforehand with an independent expert and negotiating”.

In addition, they advise to avoid as much as possible resorting to consumer loans and “more specifically to the so-called quick loans and microcredits, often granted by entities that are not regulated by any financial supervisor.”

Gestures in family

Saving is everyone’s business. Of little use that some look with a magnifying glass prices and buy white marks if then we leave the lights on or put the heating to the maximum with some window open. Pay attention to small home gestures such as unplugging appliances and appliances when we are not using them, installing energy saving light bulbs or short or ecological programs are gestures that we must move to the little ones, to promote the culture of saving at home.

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The new year is also a good time to review all your subscriptions and compare cheaper electricity, gas, telephony or internet rates.