Blue Monday: 5 ways to fix your finances todayBanish the January blues with our money-saving tips

19 January 2015

sad man pays bills at home

The third Monday of January has been dubbed 'Blue Monday', as it's supposedly the day where the financial hangover from Christmas festivities begins to hit home. 

To help combat the January Blues, Which? has compiled a list of five actions that can help you get your finances in order today.  

1. Transfer your credit card debt

January's credit card bills are hitting doormats across the nation, leaving many with debt they are unable to immediately repay.  

If you're paying interest on credit card debt, it might be worth applying for a 0% balance transfer credit card. These cards charge no interest on a balance transferred from another card for an initial period, meaning you'll have some breathing space in which to repay your debt gradually.

Make sure to clear this debt before the end of the 0% period though, as the APR on these cards tends to skyrocket once this promotion deal is over.

The Which? Money Compare credit card tables let you search hundreds of cards from providers large and small to choose a great deal based on quality of service as well as cost and benefits.

Which? Money Compare table: 0% balance transfer credit cards - find a great deal

2. Make your savings work harder

Inflation is currently at a record low, meaning it has become easier to find a savings account which negates its effects on your finances. But there is still a huge difference between the best and worst rates offered across the savings market, so it's worth checking your money is making as much interest as possible. 

If you're over 65, take a look at the Pensioner Bonds released by National Savings & Investments last week. The bonds, which offer market-leading rates to those aged 65 and older, have been tipped to sell out within weeks, as more than £1 billion worth of savings have already been poured in.

Not all savings mechanisms aimed at older generations offer good value, though. Which? recently highlighted the over-50s savings accounts that offer customers desperately low returns

The Which? Money Compare savings tables let you search hundreds of accounts from providers of all sizes to choose a great deal based on quality of service as well as the returns on offer. 

Which? Money Compare table: Savings accounts and Isas - hundreds of accounts compared

3. Switch energy supplier

Energy bills are at their highest for most households at this time of year, which means there is unlikely to be a better time to check you're on a competitive tariff. 

Those who switched gas and electricity provider with Which? Switch between October and December 2014 made annual savings of £245 on average. 

Find out more: Which? Switch - compare energy tariffs

4. Reduce your tax bill

The deadline for submitting your 2013/14 online tax return to HMRC is January 31. Our list of 30 completely legal ways could help reduce the amount you owe to the taxman.

Find out more: 30 ways to save tax - learn how to lower your tax bill 

5. Check out the Which? '50 ways' guides

There are 100 ideas for boosting your finances available online in the Which? 50 ways to make money and 50 ways to save money guides. 

The video below features shows how you can make an extra £930 a year on average just by following five of the tips featured in these guides. 


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Video transcript

Which? research has found many ways to make your money go further. 

Here are five easy tips our experts have compiled, which can save you more than £1,000 a year. 

Haggling over your household bills is a few minutes well spent. Which? members saved an average of £526 a year by haggling over these five annual purchases using our tried and trusted scripts. 

2. Buy with a cashback credit card
Earn money as you shop by using a cashback credit card. Which? members earn an average of £90 cashback a year by doing this, even after the fees you have to pay for using some of these cards. 

3. Shop through cashback websites 
Most major online stores allow you to shop via a cashback website. These sites pay you a cash reward every time you buy
on top of what you earn from a cashback credit card. Which? members make an average of £100 a year using the likes of Quidco and TopCashback. 

4. Use loyalty cards
Not all loyalty cards give great rewards, but if you shop at a store regularly and it has a decent scheme, it’s worth collecting the points. Which? members earns an average of £60 a year in vouchers. 

5. Check on price comparison sites
Finally, price comparison websites have made it easier than ever to shop around for essential services. Users of our Which? Switch website, for example, save an average of £297 a year by moving to a cheaper energy provider. If you haven’t switched for a while, you might save more. Just a few minutes of your time could save you more than £1,000 a year, so there's clearly nothing to lose. 

In Which? Money, we publish money-saving tips from our experts and our members every month. So don’t leave your finances to chance, sign up for a £1 trial.

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Which Ltd is an Introducer Appointed Representative of Which? Financial Services Ltd, which is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority. Which? Mortgage Advisers and Which? Money Compare are trading names of Which? Financial Services Limited.