WEB & TECH / DEC. 27, 2014
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Facing a Lean January? These Apps Can Help

Christmas costs. Ignoring the drain on your finances over the festive season means that January comes crashing in with the financial hangover lasting past New Years Day, for most of us. Make the most of your money in the smartest way you can with these ideas.

Get cash back on your purchases

There will doubtless be some shopping that is simply unavoidable - and using a cash back app, such as Quidco can make this pay. Quidco gives you a percentage or fixed rate of cash back for every purchase made, and it is free to sign up. With active members making on average £280 per year this way, and no cap to earning potential, this could be a great way to pad your wallet this year. 

Don’t spend too much on travel

If you travel by train regularly as part of a commute or for other work reasons, then make sure you are not paying over the odds. Make sure you have any railcards that offer you a discount, and take advantage of the group discounts often used - but also use the Tickety Split app to get the cheapest possible rail tickets. Available through both a site and a handy app, this tool allows you to see if the journey you are making would be cheaper split down into several tickets rather than one. Rail fares are notoriously complicated and illogical, and this is a smart way to get through this to find the bargains buried in the system.

Don’t pay over the odds for your groceries

We all have to buy groceries - so be smart and use a supermarket comparison site such as My Supermarket. This allows you to choose your shopping and then decide which of the major supermarkets you will visit based on the cheapest overall bill. Additionally to this, you can take advantage of the price match offers used by many supermarkets to keep your January costs even lower. Don’t forget to think about travel costs if the cheapest supermarket is a long drive away from home, though. 

Keep hold of the purse strings with an app

If you are facing a lean January after a busy festive season, then keeping control of your spending is crucial. Luckily, there’s an app for that, too, so no excuses. Try Moneyhub, which is accessible via the web or an app, and allows you to track and manage your spending, create a budget and even, if you’re really keen, start to plan a longer term thing such as your retirement expenditure. Additionally, make sure you use online banking, where you can, to keep close to your cash when times are tight, and set up direct debits to make sure that the important bills are never missed. 

Make the most of offers

Finally, when you’re tightening the belt in the New Year, use a voucher app such as Groupon or Vouchercloud. Using group purchasing power and industry connections to pass on discounts direct to subscribers, you will find offers on everything from butchers to holidays - but just don’t buy things you would not have been planning to purchase anyway. 

With December pay dates often pulled forward to ensure employees have money in their pockets for Christmas, and the extra financial demands experienced in the festive season, January is a tight and long month of savings for many of us. Make sure you’re on top of your money, and finding the savings that are out there in the easiest possible way using your smart phone, and soon the mercifully short month of February will be upon us.

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