I don’t know about you, but January is always a tricky month for me. We seem to just about scrape through the festive season, and then find that there’s a long, cold month stretching out ahead… and that’s usually when something breaks or snaps or S grows out of her winter coat or some big expense of some description rears its ugly head.
I know I’m not alone in this; Blue Monday is a marketing gimmick made up by a PR firm to sell holidays, but every year when it comes up people nod their heads in morose agreement; we do feel a bit blue and we are a bit skint and fed up!
Here are a few ways of scraping your way through to the end of the month:
- Loyalty Points: I save mine up when I’m doing my Christmas shopping, taking advantage of as many “double points” offers as I can. In January I then have loyalty points to spend on essentials or for a little treat when I’m feeling rubbish.
- Cashback: I’ve written about using cashback sites before; I try to use them whenever I can. With so much extra shopping in the run up to Christmas, I find that I can build up my cashback and then in the new year when things are tight I can withdraw some money to spend where I need.
- Make friends with the freezer. I am a serial 3-for-2-er, and always buy things then they’re on offer. I organise my freezer as much as possible so as to use my space efficiently, and fill it with food I can defrost and cook later. In January, I pretty much live out of my freezer.
- Casual online work. There are tons of sites out there these days where you can pick up piece work here and there. I’ve used Copify a lot in the past but there’s also People Per Hour, Fiverr and lots more. The rates of pay are not fantastic on these sites; I think you’d be pushed to make a decent full time living solely from one of these sites. But in a pinch, if you can get your head down for a few hours of solid work, they can be good for getting out of a hole.
- Use www.lendgreen.com. We all have those unexpected expenses that just can’t wait a couple of weeks or more before we fix them, and in my experience those usually crop up at this time of year! Whether it’s the heating, the washing machine or just broken or lost school shoes, Murphy’s Law dictates that it will happen at the least convenient moment.
- Sell things. We all get Christmas gifts we don’t really want, or we get a gift that replaces something we were using before. Now is the time to sort through your things, and sell what you no longer need. You can do that on Ebay, or these days there are lots of local selling groups on Facebook where you can have people come and collect things – even easier!
- If you’re artistic or crafty, you can sell your products on sites like Etsy or CafePress. This can work especially well if you already have a following on social media to whom you can advertise your new online craft shop.
- Walk dogs, clean houses, do gardening or babysit. The old fashioned, tried and tested ways of making a bit of extra income still work just as well as they did before the internet was around!
- Sell your photos. If you have a good eye for these things, you can sell your images on sites like Shutterstock. Of course, you need to have a decent camera and to be able to take a good photo to start with, but if you’re able to do that why not make a little cash from it?