The work festive party, that extra rounds of drinks we felt pressured to buy, the extra fuel we used traveling to visit relatives. December is often a time of excess, partying and gift giving. We might have spent more than we expected, and our bank balance may have taken a hit. In fact, the average household spends £720 more in December than other months of the year.

So here’s Laura Ellis from the financial education charity MyBnk with her top tips to tackle the New Year money hangover.

Set New Year’s Resolutions

Why not make a financial resolution for 2024? You could aim to build your savings or make a weekly budget for the new year including regular saving. You could even start saving now for guilt-free spending next December.

Consider a 0% credit card

You might be able to open a new credit card that offers a 0% transfer for a set period of time. This means you have a number of months where no interest is charged on new purchases. This can be a breathing space to get your finances in order before the time runs out.

Free gym in January?

Is their offer really free? That’s great, do it! Or do you have to sign up for a whole year to get a free first month?  A lot of people make a resolution to get fit in January but can’t keep the habit up. Before committing to a longer membership, make sure you will use it.

Cancel subscriptions

Look at your monthly/annual subscriptions. Do you use them? Do you need them? Can you afford them? If the answer is no, don’t keep paying for something you don’t need

Challenge yourself to Dry January

Not only is it going to be good for your body, but it’s also good for your bank balance. What better excuse to avoid going out and spending more?

Beware of January sales

Don’t get sucked into the hype. Every TV or Internet advert will be pushing you to spend. Remember, if you don’t need it, it isn’t a bargain

Get out in nature

Wrap up warm and head out for walks with family or friends. Wherever you live, there’s usually some open space you can enjoy for free, whether that’s the local park, woodland, or beach. You could even download a free PDF nature scavenger hunt to take it to the next level. 

Visit free museums

Local museums and libraries often have free activities for children and young people, such as art and story sessions. And for adults they can be an interesting (and warm) place to spend an afternoon reading books, magazines and papers for free.

Try out a low-cost date

Keeping an eye on spending doesn’t mean you need to sacrifice date night. For those with children, why not exchange babysitting services with a relative or friend? Some cinemas have a 2 for 1 night (take your own snacks if you can – to save money). What about fish and chips on the beach, a picnic in the park on a nice day, or a supermarket meal deal for two?

MyBnk is a charity that delivers expert-led financial education programmes to schools and youth organisations in the UK. Together with young people, they have created innovative, high impact and high energy workshops that bring money to life. MyBnk delivers programmes for 7-25 year olds. To book a fully-funded MyBnk session, please email laura.ellis@mybnk.org.