Five ways to beat the January financial blues

27 December 2019

Refresh your finances after the Christmas hangover in January 2020.

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Around eight million people across the UK are expected to suffer from a financial hangover in January as a result of spending over Christmas.  

Here, we round up five ways to beat the January blues and get your finances on the right track.

1) Work out your financial goals

Working out your financial goals is an important first step towards getting your finances in order. 

Once you clarify exactly what you want to do, work out the best way to achieve it.

For example, if you’d like to build up a rainy day fund – put money away into a regular savings account.

Working out your financial goals gives you a chance to prioritise your money matters and prepare for expenses later down the line. 

This could be anything from hefty winter energy bills to holidays and getting ready for next Christmas.

2) Tackle your debt

If you've started the new year in the red, you're not alone.

Households across the UK have around £2,602 worth of credit card debt. And as a nation we pay £140m per day on credit card interest, according to the latest figures from The Money Charity. 

It's really important to make a plan to clear your debts as soon as possible. 

Generally speaking, you should start by clearing your most expensive debts first, which are most likely to be sitting on a credit card. 

A 0% balance transfer card could help you cut the cost of your credit card debt by shifting it to a card with a lower interest rate. 

If you'd like help with managing your debts charities like StepChange and the National Debtline offer free advice.

3) Boost your savings

If you’ve already built up a nest egg, make sure it’s earning the best return it can.

Interest rates have been notoriously lacklustre over the last few years so it’s worth doing a bit of digging to find an account that will help your money grow.

Check out our guides on the best savings rates and the best cash ISA rates to get an idea of the accounts that might help boost your savings in 2020. 

4) Switch your bank for a cash bonus

Most banks offer incentives for you to switch your main current account over to them. This could be anything from cash bonuses to gift vouchers. 

Switching your bank can be done easily online, via phone or in branch and takes around seven days to complete. 

We've rounded up three switching deals available right now in the table below. 

Bank Perk Deadline
TSB £50 + 3% interest 2 Jan 2019
M&S Bank £100 M&S gift card and £80 gift card after a year 6 Jan 2019
First direct £50 + £250 0% overdraft Ongoing

5) Get on top of your credit score

Taking control of your credit score can really help boost your finances.

Check your credit report and get any mistakes on your credit history corrected, as they could scupper your chances of getting a credit card, loan or mortgage in the future.

There are lots of simple steps that could help you improve your credit score, like registering to vote an always paying off your debts in full. 

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